ARLINGTON, Texas – Travis Frederick met Ezekiel Elliott on Friday night, and he did so with the knowledge that he'll be paving the way for the rookie running back for the foreseeable future.
Elliott took part in a round table with several other Cowboys first-round draft picks at AT&T Stadium, as he joined Frederick, Tyron Smith and Morris Claiborne to discuss the draft experience and the expectations facing the rookie running back.
Just 24 hours prior, however, Frederick got some good draft news of his own when he learned that the Cowboys were picking up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract. The decision secures Frederick's future in Dallas through the 2017 season.
"It's exciting for them to pick up that option. Like you said, it's another year that I get to be a Cowboy," he said. "Hopefully that gives us this year to just really focus on just playing and getting better and not having to worry about any other stuff."
Hard as it might be to believe, it's been three years since the Cowboys made Frederick the second top-tier pick on their offensive line. The first, Tyron Smith has since signed an eight-year extension, but the decision to pick up Frederick's option gives Dallas a window of opportunity to discuss long-term options with their stalwart center.
It's got to be a bit of a relief for the Cowboys, considering the contract negotiations that await them. As it stands right now, Zack Martin is eligible to have his fifth-year option exercised next spring, while La'el Collins' three-year contract expires after the 2017 season.
Given that Frederick has made two-straight Pro Bowls, the decision to pick up his option is hardly surprising. Still, it had to provide some peace of mind to know he'll be snapping the ball in Dallas for at least two more seasons – if not more.
"When we found out that they were going to do it – we hoped that they were. We figured that that might be the case," he said. "But it is a good feeling to know that they want to keep me around for another year and they want me to be a part of this."
With that bit of business cleared up, Frederick can turn his attention to the Cowboys' ground game, and the elite talent that'll be running behind the offensive line.
"It's certainly exciting, because you know that management and the scouts and the coaches invested in him by picking him that high," he said.
One day into his Cowboys career, Elliott has already met his Pro Bowl center and his Pro Bowl left tackle. With outreach from the likes of Tony Romo, Dez Bryant and Darren McFadden, Frederick said he's thrilled to see that the newest member of the team is already in the fold.
"What's most impressive to me is the group of guys that we have already reaching out, accepting him, trying to get him in the group and get him moving forward for our system and how we're going to move forward," he said.