*Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2015 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features center Travis Frederick.*
Name: Travis Frederick
Experience: 2 seasons
Key stat:Frederick's selection at No. 31 overall in 2013 was widely criticized, but in 2014 he was named to the Pro Bowl, making him one of just seven members of his draft class to earn the distinction. The other six are Sheldon Richardson, Eric Reid, Kyle Long, Cordarrelle Patterson, Eddie Lacy and Le'Veon Bell.
Contract Status:Signed through 2016.
2014 Impact: Frederick is a durable, consistent player that plays with high football intelligence. Can tell in the way he plays that he and Tony Romo work very well together when identifying defensive schemes and setting the protections. Learning curve has been very small. Plays with outstanding awareness in his assignments and is able to make himself available when one of his teammates needs help. Coming out of Wisconsin, there were snaps where I thought he struggled with power and dealing with a man directly on his nose, but he has become more comfortable in dealing with those defenders one-on-one. Some of his most productive games this season came when he was playing against teams like the Saints, Texans and Redskins that were odd man schemes. Has learned how to play with better leverage and hand use. There are far less snaps where he gets overpowered or compressed back -- whether he is blocking on a running play or in pass protection. There is stoutness to his game. Will show the ability to be firm in the front of the pocket. If he does get in trouble, there will be some snaps where he will lunge trying to short set his man and will miss badly. This doesn't happen often, so when it does I wonder what he was thinking? Works well with Zack Martin and Ronald Leary on those combination blocks. He's not as athletic as Martin, but in several of the nice runs they had this season, it was his block on the second level that allowed the ball to get through the hole. There are times where he is in nice football position then others where he has some balance issues and that would deal more with what we were talking about with his athletic ability.
Where He Fits: He'll be the starting center for the Cowboys for years to come. Made his first Pro Bowl in 2014 and it will not be his last. Tough, smart and a leader that improved each game. Might not be the best athlete but can work around that flaw due to the other traits that he has.
David Helman:Frederick might play the least-heralded position on the entire offense, so he's it's doubtful he'll become a face-of-the-franchise type of player, like Jason Witten or Tony Romo. You can't help but think that he's going to be a foundation of this team for a long time to come, though. Frederick has a minimum of two years remaining on his rookie deal, and it seems like a given that the Cowboys will pick up his fifth-year option. The combination of him and Zack Martin in the middle of the line for at least the next three or four years has got to be an encouraging thought – not just for Tony Romo, but for the long-term success of this offense.