- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys made a trade during the first-round of last spring's draft that caused all sorts of discussion. Instead of drafting a safety or defensive lineman, the Cowboys moved down from No. 18 to No. 31 with the San Francisco 49ers and also acquired a third-round pick.
Center/guard Travis Frederick, projected as a second-rounder, was selected by the Cowboys at No. 31. The 49ers drafted safety Eric Reid at No. 18. But the Cowboys elected to bypass getting any defensive linemen, particularly tackle Sharrif Floyd, who went to the Minnesota Vikings at No. 23.
At that time, the Cowboys had hopes defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and defensive end Tyrone Crawford, among others, would solidify the group in the new 4-3 scheme. Crawford tore his Achilles tendon less than a week into training camp practices and Ratliff never recovered from surgery and was eventually released.
The Cowboys' failure to even draft a defensive linemen has been magnified given the injury situation at the position and now Floyd visits AT&T Stadium on Sunday.
So was the trade worth it?
Frederick emerged as a starter at center and has played well. The Cowboys selected wide receiver Terrance Williams with that third-round pick. Williams has caught 26 passes for 444 yards with four touchdowns to become a solid No. 2 receiver behind Dez Bryant as Miles Austin nurses his hamstring injuries.
Floyd isn't starting and is credited with five tackles and 1.5 sacks this season at defensive tackle.
It seems the Cowboys, despite their defensive line woes, did OK.
"It's something you stick in the back of your head," Frederick said when asked about the trade. "For me, its about going out, getting better and proving to yourself and to your team you're a good player that can contribute and be a good player they can count on. It's not about proving some people on Twitter wrong or proving the media wrong, it's about proving myself to the team and to myself."