OXNARD, Calif. – When Travis Frederick left his Wisconsin home last summer for Dallas, he didn’t know what he didn’t know. When he made the trip a few days ago as the Dallas Cowboys prepared for their flight to California for training camp, something was different.
“I think it’s a matter of just knowing what to expect and knowing where to be and how to do things,” said Frederick, who started every game as a rookie in 2013. “When I was flying to Dallas to come out here I’m thinking, ‘I don’t have that pit in my stomach like I don’t know what’s coming. I’m afraid.’ I’m just really excited to be out here and excited for the opportunity to come out and work.”
It’s not just the start of training camp that has Frederick excited. It’s the opportunity to work again with Tony Romo.
With Romo recovering from December back surgery in the offseason, the quarterback did not take any competitive snaps in the organized team activities or minicamp. The work with Frederick was limited to walkthroughs.
“We did take a few snaps during the OTAs but it's always good to be working with that guy you know you’re going to be working with so you can get on the same mindset,” Frederick said.
Frederick believes Romo is as eager as any player for camp.
“Anybody that’s been out or hasn’t had the opportunity to work, you’re always excited to get back in there and get that continuity back,” Frederick said. “He’s been doing it for a long time, so it’s probably much easier for him then somebody like me where if I had been out to come back. I think he’s really excited for it, too.”
For Frederick, the true excitement does not come until the pads come on in camp. Per league rules, the Cowboys have to work their way slowly into practices, working without pads or shells the first two days. Frederick understands the importance of injury prevention and the build up helps the players get accustomed to the speed.
“It takes a little time to get yourself ready or get yourself adjusted, I guess I should say. But it’s been a long time since we had pads on,” Frederick said. “You play football in pads, so it’s fun and it’s exciting for us to be able to put that back on and get back to work instead of just having to work in helmets or no helmets.”