FRISCO, Texas – The Cowboys believe Penn State interior offensive lineman Connor McGovern was a value pick in the third round.
They're also excited about center Travis Frederick's return from Guillain-Barre syndrome.
After taking McGovern with the 90th overall pick, Cowboys chief operating officer Stephen Jones made clear that the selection had nothing to do with Frederick's health status as the four-time Pro Bowl center rejoins his teammates for voluntary offseason workouts this spring.
"I think he's ready -- he'll go right to work in training camp," Jones said. "Barring a setback or something unforeseen, he should roll right back into being our starting center and, I think, play at the level he's always played at."
Last August doctors diagnosed Frederick with GBS, a treatable auto-immune disease that affects the nervous system. He spent last season recovering and regaining strength and is now back to strength and conditioning work.
Although he'll be on a modified workout plan this spring -- due in part to unrelated shoulder and hernia surgeries -- Frederick said last month that he's been pleased with his progress over the last nine months, crediting the Cowboys' medical and athletic training staff for aiding his recovery.
His goal is to be full-go when camp starts in late July.
"I feel confident in my ability to do it," he said. "But we really won't know until I get out and do it again. I feel good in everything that I'm doing, and everything's been on schedule or ahead of schedule. So, I feel good. I'm excited to get back out there."
As for McGovern, the Cowboys simply viewed him as the best available player at the end of the third round. He was the last prospect left on their board that had a second-round grade.
The All-Big Ten lineman played center and guard in college and should provide immediate depth.
"When you have an interior guy that can play both, it's really valuable," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "It's valuable if you're a starting player, it's valuable if you're a backup player. So we'll give him a chance to do it all."