Travis Fred­er­ick on o-line coach fir­ing: ‘We needed a change’

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Sports - BY STE­FAN STEVEN­SON ssteven­son@star-tele­

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more re­spected player in the Dal­las Cowboys’ locker room than Travis Fred­er­ick.

The All-Pro cen­ter, who has been side­lined this sea­son af­ter be­ing stricken with Guil­lain-Barré syn­drome, an au­toim­mune dis­or­der, re­acted to of­fen­sive line coach Paul Alexan­der be­ing re­placed by Marc Colombo ear­lier this week. His sen­ti­ments un­ques­tion­ably are felt be­yond just the of­fen­sive line room. He called the move in the mid­dle of the sea­son “a shock­ing blow” to the unit. It serves two pur­poses, he said.

“There’s a coach­ing change so there’s go­ing to be some dif­fer­ence there, but also it tells you that the head coach and the man­age­ment are not pleased with the way we’re play­ing,” Fred­er­ick said. “So it’s kind of a re­minder to us as a group that we need to be play­ing bet­ter.”

The of­fen­sive line is hardly the only is­sue with the team. Dal­las also trad- ed for re­ceiver Amari Cooper dur­ing the bye week. So why does it seem as if all the blame is be­ing placed on the o-line?

“In this game, there’s no op­por­tu­ni­ties for ex­cuses and ex­pla­na­tions. It’s a re­sults-ori­ented game,” said Fred­er­ick, when it was pointed out that he’s been out of the lineup and rookie guard Con­nor Wil­liams has started every game. “Even if things aren’t work­ing your way you have to be able to pro­vide and per­form. If you’re not, then some­thing’s got to change. In this case they made a change at the coach­ing level but you of­ten see it at the per­son­nel level as well.”

Fred­er­ick said some of his team­mates re­acted dif­fer­ently to Alexan­der’s tech­niques, but he plans on keep­ing some in his “tool box.” He said go­ing for­ward it’s not about as­sign­ing blame for any fail­ures in the first seven games, but get­ting it fixed quickly.

“This isn’t a one-man blame game. Some­thing wasn’t work­ing and we needed a change,” he said. “For us, it’s a shot to us as a group, say­ing ‘Lis­ten, this has got to get bet­ter.’ We need to fig­ure out not whose fault it is but what we can do to get bet­ter.”

Fred­er­ick felt the same way about the play of the line at the bye week a year ago.

“This is all about a quest to get to that stan­dard and get to that level we know we’re ca­pa­ble of play­ing. We just have to fig­ure out what it is we need to do to make that hap­pen,” he said.

Fred­er­ick said he’s feel­ing good but progress has slowed. He’s not el­i­gi­ble to re­turn from the in­jured re­serve list un­til Week 14 but with the time missed, it’s un­clear how much time he’d need to re­gain play­ing shape.

“I’m op­ti­mistic, but I don’t know at this time,” he said.

RAY CAR­LIN Spe­cial to Star-Tele­gram

Cowboys cen­ter Travis Fred­er­ick has been side­lined since Au­gust while he bat­tles Guil­lain–Barré syn­drome.

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