Instead, they chose to move back to the 31st spot and take a center.
Certainly, decisions in late April don't always relate to on-field occurrences in September. But in this case, it better work out that way.
You don't take a center in the first round if you haven't evaluated him as an NFL-ready player. Travis Frederick was picked in a position to start on Sept. 8 against the Giants. If he's not, then I don't really understand the pick at all.
But Jerry Jones has said numerous times that all first-round picks should be ready to start. And with this pick, he made it clear Frederick is expected to be in the starting lineup.
That being said, the rookie from Wisconsin will get every chance to win the job. And because of that, I have a hard time seeing Phil Costa beat him out.
Let's not forget, the same people who drafted Frederick, are the same people who evaluated Costa enough to realize they needed an upgrade. So I think in April they decided Frederick was better. And if he's not better right away, it's unlikely there will be a fair competition to settle it. [embedded_ad]
Over the years, we've seen offensive line positions that were believed to be competitions going into training camp, but it never materialized. And it can't really happen because offensive line continuity is so important.
Sure, you can try to rotate Costa and Frederick each day in practice, but what does that do for the center-quarterback relationship? What about the other two guards trying to get a feel for the guy between them? Or what about the entire line hearing the offensive line calls from two different players?
To me, you've got to pick a center from the start and give him every opportunity to win the job. That player has been picked – literally – in late April. So Frederick has to be unbelievably bad for Costa to unseat him as the starter.
The only way I see a healthy Frederick not starting at center, is because he's starting at guard. Even with that, I don't see the Cowboys taking him away from this position he's trying to master, to plug a hole at guard.