IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys needed to upgrade their offensive line during the offseason and the first step in that direction came Thursday when they spent their first-round draft pick on Wisconsin center Travis Frederick. But it wasn’t the first-round pick they started out with.
An offensive linemen isn’t a flashy pick but Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says Frederick can make a bigger impact than some might think. Jones added that the 6-4, 320-pounder will enter the 2013 season as a starter at either guard or center. The Cowboys entered the night at the 18th pick, but traded that to San Francisco in return for the No. 31 overall pick and the No. 74 overall pick (a third-rounder).
“What is the very best thing we can do for this team? We’re in pretty good shape with defensive personnel,” Jones said. “Buy [Tony] Romo a half a second. Better than a ‘wow’ receiver to add to our receivers. Better than a ‘wow’ tight end, have a lot of three tight end, two tight end sets. Candidly, our consensus was after everything we’ve done in this draft, the best thing we could do to help us win football games is to get him another half a second.
“I’m talking about for the next 36 months, 48 months. That’s really the meat of where we are.”
The Cowboys were so focused on addressing their offensive line — particularly the interior — that they might’ve given some consideration to moving up to select one of the elite guard prospects in this draft.
“We had two players but that was over by the time we got to the eighth pick, ninth pick, that we might have considered moving up for,” Jones said. “We ended up getting a player that I don’t know if I would’ve wanted to give up a three rather than to have the player we might have moved up for and had Frederick and gained a three. We’re two threes better off by having not moved up and picked another guard to move up and go get him.”
Jones was likely referring to guards Jonathan Cooper, who went seventh to the Arizona Cardinals and Chance Warmack, who went 10th to the Tennessee Titans.