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70) Will Frederick Meet Expectations Starting On Line?


IRVING, Texas -- As the Cowboys focus on the offseason, training camp is still in sight.

Coming off two straight 8-8 seasons and three full seasons removed from the playoffs, the Cowboys have plenty of question marks surrounding them as they prepare for the 2013 season.

As we count down the days to camp, the writers of will take a different question each day that is hovering over this team.

With 70 days until the Cowboys take the field in Oxnard, Calif., today's question centers on, well, the possible new center:

70) Can Travis Frederick meet immediate expectations and start and excel on the line?

A lot's been put on first-round pick Travis Frederick, who will wear No. 70 this year.

Most didn't expect him to go in the first round. Even he was surprised to hear his name called with the 31st pick after the Cowboys traded down to select the Wisconsin center.

Whether or not he truly is a first-round talent, he's now expected to play like one. So far, Frederick's said all the right things and has handled himself exceptionally well, not giving in to the pressures of the moment.

But it'll soon be evident whether the Cowboys reached, as many expect, or if they found a player that can anchor the line for the next decade.

The first thing will be finding which spot to place Frederick. He played at center during rookie minicamp, and it's likely that's where he'll start out, though he's also capable of playing guard. As owner/general manager Jerry Jones said, he wants the first pick to be the base on the line. The thought is if there's a strong base at center in Frederick, everyone surrounding the top pick will play better.

Whether or not Frederick produces to the Cowboys' expectations could determine the strength of this draft class and whether or not the team will be able to run the ball in 2013.

Sticking with our numerical journey to training camp, let's take a closer look at the number 70:

  • The number's been worn by plenty of notable players, and many of them also donned other numbers at different points in their career. Rayfield Wright wore No. 70 and No. 85, Mark Stepnoski wore No. 70 and No 53 and Dale Hellestrae wore No. 70 and No. 62. Leonard Davis also wore the No. 70 from 2007-10.
  • The Cowboys won their final five games in 1970 to finish 10-4, making the playoffs for the fifth straight year. They also won their first NFC title that season before losing in the Super Bowl, 16-13, to Baltimore. [embedded_ad]
  • Another NFC title might not have been possible without what might have been the most notable play in Alvin Harper's career, when the receiver caught a slant route against the 49ers and took it 70 yards to help seal the victory on Jan. 17, 1993.
  • Dallas was penalized for the most yards in a game in franchise history in the 1970 season at Washington, accumulating 161 penalty yards. Remarkably, the Cowboys crushed the Redskins in that game, 45-21.
  • The Cowboys didn't get any long-term starters in the first couple rounds of the 1970 NFL Draft, but they did grab safety Charlie Waters in the third round. Waters would go on to make three straight Pro Bowls in the late 1970s. Another third-round selection that would go on to be a Pro Bowl player, tackle Erik Williams, was selected as the 70th pick overall in 1991.
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