IRVING, Texas – Hours before the Cowboys add another first-round draft pick to the roster, they secured their 2013 first-rounder for a fifth season.
The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on Travis Frederick's contract on Thursday afternoon, ensuring that he'll remain with the team through at least the 2017 season. The move was widely expected, given that Frederick has earned two Pro Bowl nods during his three years in the league. But it undoubtedly gives the Cowboys some peace of mind that they'll be able to keep their vaunted offensive line together for two more seasons.
Frederick was taken at the tail end of the first round back in 2013, which makes his option quite a bit more team friendly. The option pay scale for players taken in the back half of the first round is the average of the third through 25th-highest salary at their position.
In Frederick's case, his 2017 salary should land somewhere in the neighborhood of $8 million.
The option doesn't preclude the Cowboys from negotiating a longer deal with their Pro Bowl center, either. Back in 2014, they picked up the fifth-year option on Tyron Smith's contract – just three months before they signed him to an eight-year extension worth roughly $110 million.
The decision to draft Frederick has been one of the organization's biggest draft day victories in recent years. The Cowboys originally held the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, but they agreed to a trade with San Francisco – moving down to No. 31 overall in exchange for the 49ers' No. 74 overall pick.
At the time, Frederick's selection was met with skepticism around the league, as many viewed the pick as a draft day reach. In his three years with the team, the Wisconsin standout has started all 50 career games and earned Pro Bowl nods in both 2014 and 2015. On top of that, the Cowboys turned that No. 74 pick into Terrance Williams – who has 137 catches for 2,327 yards and 18 total touchdowns in his three-year career.
The Cowboys will have their work cut out for them in coming years, as negotiations will undoubtedly ramp up with Frederick, Zack Martin and La'el Collins. At the very least, though, this ensures the group can stay together for two more seasons.