Of course football feels like such a lower priority on Thursday considering Wednesday evening’s news concerning Travis Frederick. Jerry Jones spoke on it (see below) shortly before Jason Garrett’s daily press conference.
Jerry Jones on Travis Frederick's Guillain-Barre Syndrome diagnosis: "The biggest thing we've been worried about in this organization is his health, his long term health, his individual well-being, as opposed to how it impacts us as a team."#Cowboys #CowboysCamp pic.twitter.com/o6qiVtVn11— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 23, 2018
Here’s what the head coach had to say (all answers are paraphrases of Garrett, not direct quotes).
Joe Looney is taking snaps with the ones
Obviously Travis Frederick’s absence is a big deal from a football sense, and the Cowboys have to be prepared for whatever they could have to deal with in that realm. Jason Garrett noted that for now Joe Looney, who’s importance to the team can’t be overstated at this point, is taking first-team snaps at center.
Cowboys have talked about Zack Martin’s versatility, his ability to play tackle and snap the ball
When asked about other options to potentially fill in at center Jason Garrett brought up Zack Martin as an in-house option. He noted that the plan is for Martin to be a right guard, but he did mention Martin’s versatility as a tackle as well as his abilities to snap the ball as a center. Garrett referred to this option as a safety net and noted that right now they are just taking things somewhat slowly with this situation.
Frederick is in a great frame of mind, uncertainty was bothering him
There’s no denying that this is all a big deal for Travis Frederick to compartmentalize, but Jason Garrett said that the All-Pro center is in a great frame of mind. He noted that doctors and trainers have done a great job sorting through it all and that the Cowboys think they have their hands around it at this point.
“You could tell something was bothering him”
Jason Garrett noted that something wasn’t “quite right” with Travis Frederick when out at training camp in Oxnard. This whole saga has really developed over the last week (re-visit the timeline of it all if you wish) and Jason Garrett said part of that was when Frederick began sharing what he was experiencing with the team.
The Cowboys are feeling optimistic
There isn’t a lot that is known in terms of projections at this point. Guillain Barre Syndrome is a disorder that effects different people in different ways, but for now the Cowboys are remaining optimistic in that Travis Frederick’s case was caught early.
Joe Looney played more football with the ones than he ever has
When discussing Joe Looney again Jason Garrett noted that the veteran has played more football with the starters than he ever has. The Cowboys feel good about what he’s doing in large part due to the fact that Looney is a veteran who is poised, composed, and smart.
Martin being right guard was emphasized, but so was his versatility at tackle and center
Obviously the subject of Zack Martin playing anywhere but right guard would draw some attention and so it was circled back to with Garrett. The head coach re-emphasized that the plan was for Zack Martin to play right guard, but he was specific to mention tackle when talking about his versatility as well as snapping the ball.
Our own Danny Phantom hypothesized some potential replacements for Travis Frederick here at BTB in the aftermath of all this. One of DP’s suggestions was rookie Connor Williams, and if you’re operating in a mode where you don’t mind moving people you could theoretically move him there, La’el Collins to left guard, and Zack Martin to right tackle. Again, this is purely speculation on multiple potential combinations of offensive lines, but it was interesting that Garrett specifically mentioned tackle two separate times when discussing Martin’s versatility.
Frederick is two days into treatment
Jason Garrett updated us in that he noted Travis Frederick is only two days into treatment for GBS. Frederick noted that he had received two treatments already in his official statement so perhaps that’s once a day, but we don’t know. Jason Garrett noted that the Cowboys don’t have to make decisions for “a couple more weeks” so we could be here for a while.