LOS ANGELES – Travis Frederick wasn't quite yet in uniform, but he was close when he found out he was the highest-paid center in professional football.
"I was in the locker room getting dressed," Frederick said. "My agent -- they had been working through the day. We were trying to get something done before the game started, and it was right before it started."
The Cowboys and Frederick agreed to terms Saturday on a six-year, $56.4 million extension. It came so close to kickoff that it hasn't officially been signed yet – though it surely will be.
The deal keeps the two-time Pro Bowler in Dallas for the foreseeable future. More importantly for Frederick, it secured his future before he had to play a snap of the 2016 season.
"I'm very appreciative to both the Jones Family and also my representation – to be able to make something work and get it done before the first preseason game," he said. "It was something that was really important to me, and I was happy to have it done."
Frederick's preference is understandable, given the rigors of the NFL. The deal assured him $28.2 million in total guarantees before he had to take a single snap of his fourth pro season. That's some fantastic peace of mind in a sport as physical as football.
And, as Frederick also noted, it allows him to focus. The Cowboys picked up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract, which means he wasn't going anywhere until 2018 at the earliest. Following this deal, though, Frederick doesn't have to worry about free agency until 2024.
"Any chance you get to be on a team and know that you're going to stay here and you get a chance to dig in, it's a good feeling to have," he said. "It kind of takes any doubt of the future out of the way. I don't have to worry about that for a very long time."
It's been an impressive road for Frederick, whose selection at No. 31 overall in the 2013 NFL Draft prompted league-wide derision toward the Cowboys. In the time since, he has started every game of his NFL career and earned the two Pro Bowl bids along with two second-team All-Pro selections.
But if anyone is worried the money is going to prompt a change from the Wisconsin native, Frederick quashed that himself, asking "Do I look like a Hollywood guy?"
"I think I'm going to get on a bus and go back to Oxnard tonight," he said. "I'll take the day tomorrow and reflect on things that have passed and what can happen in the future."