OXNARD, Calif. – Lost in the hubbub of Tony Romo's return to practice was his inevitable linkup with Travis Frederick.
The Cowboys spent the 31st pick in the draft on a new center to put in front of Romo, and Sunday marked the first official exchange since the franchise quarterback returned from offseason surgery.
"It was a great opportunity for me to finally get some snaps and start working on some timing," Frederick said. "It's just a little bit different with every person, so you've just kind of got to get used to that."
Fittingly enough, after an offseason spent working with backups Kyle Orton and Nick Stephens, Frederick said there were some adjustments to be made with Romo, including a botched snap.
"I think that kind of comes along with everything else. You get a chance to get feedback from him when you're making calls and things like that," he said. "But I think really what's most important is making sure the offensive line is working well together, and making sure we can fit the pieces in together. I think every chance you get to work with Tony behind you, you're building that relationship. So it all just kind of builds up together."
Sunday marks the beginning of the first-ever training camp for all the Cowboys' rookies, though to this point the workload hasn't changed much from what Frederick and his classmates accomplished during offseason OTA's and minicamp.
"It was good – very similar to OTA's and things like that," he said. "Obviously it's going to pick up a little bit once we get full pads on. We haven't had those on since I've been here, but I think it was a good start."
The difference will be felt quickly for Frederick, however. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Saturday, and repeated after the team's first walkthrough Sunday, that he intends to give Frederick a chance to play guard in some capacity during training camp.
"We have a little bit of a plan for him to play some guard early on in this training camp, so we'll continue with that plan," Garrett said. "But really what you have to do is look at who's available to you."
Injuries to the likes of Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary are likely to expedite that process, as Garrett alluded to. Frederick said the loss of some of the line's regulars creates some differences, though he added that it's good to gain familiarity with as many combinations as possible. [embedded_ad]
Frederick spent time at guard during his college career at Wisconsin, and he said it's not an issue to play at either position.
"I just do what they tell me to do," Frederick said. "So whether I'm playing center or playing guard, I'm going to do my best to not only make myself better but hopefully plug in and make the team better as a whole."