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Dallas Cowboys Lock Up Center Travis Frederick With Six-Year Extension

There were many who shook their heads when Dallas invested a first round draft pick on Travis Frederick a few years ago, but the center has proven the naysayers wrong. Earlier today his efforts were rewarded by the team.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys had already exercised their fifth-year option on Travis Frederick which assured that he would remain the anchor in the middle of the team's offensive line through 2017, but the front office had bigger plans beyond next season. The Jones family was very open in their intention to sign the center to a long-term extension to help ensure that the best offensive line in the National Football League would remain intact. What Jerry Jones wants, he generally gets, and this would be no exception.

The deal will make Frederick the highest paid center in the game. His deal moved the Dallas center past Alex Mack of the Falcons and the five-year, $45 million dollar contract he signed this past spring. Frederick's deal has $28.2 million guaranteed ($18.2  fully guaranteed).

The deal closely resembles the one that my colleague Joey Ickes projected back in March.

Here's the break down for Frederick's plausible new contract.

Length: 5 years

Total Value: $47 Million

Signing Bonus: $12.5 Million

Total Guarantee: $22.8 Million

Average/Year: $9.4 Million

That is a lot of money for the team to invest, but they are investing in the man who has rapidly moved from being considered a reach (see the quote from Pro Football Talk below) in the draft to a guy who is among the best centers in the game.

Not many people thought Frederick was a first-round pick.

On Mike Mayock’s list of the top 100 prospects in the draft, Frederick checked in at No. 92 — 50 spots lower than the next-lowest player selected in the first round. On the ESPN.com draft board, Frederick was listed as a third-round pick.

But that’s just members of the media. What did NFL teams think? Ed Werder of ESPN surveyed five NFL teams and asked for their grades on Frederick. One team rated him a fourth-round pick, two had him as a fifth-round pick, one had him as a sixth-round pick and one had him as a borderline sixth- or seventh-round pick.

During his three seasons in the professional ranks, Frederick already boasts two trips to the Pro Bowl and he is still getting better. It is easy to see why the Cowboys were so interested in getting him locked up for the future and why they will soon turn to securing the services of the men who play to the left and right of their anchor in the middle.

"I don't know how many different ways we can say it, but it's the strong point of our football team," Stephen Jones said. "The strength of it and the amazing thing about it is it's not only a strength in terms of on the field, but they represent everything we want in terms of the work ethic and what they do off the field. So just a great group to try and (the Cowboys will try to) keep them all together."

After years of seeing the offensive line treated as an afterthought, it is clear that the Dallas front office sees the value in top-notch play in the trenches. Travis Frederick has become the latest beneficiary of that change in focus.