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Cowboys linemen Tyron Smith and Zack Martin offered words on Travis Frederick’s retirement

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Loud words from mostly quiet men.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-NFL Honors Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Travis Frederick retired from the NFL on Monday. It is still hard to believe. It is actually difficult to eloquently describe what Frederick has meant to the Cowboys since the team took him in the first round seven years ago. He has served, no obvious pun intended, as the center of all offensive operations from the team we all know and love.

Generally during sports times like these, those close to the player in question speak out and offer some words on the person they’ve gotten to know over however long it’s been. Frederick played along the offensive line for the Cowboys and that group is generally stone cold silent. You hardly get a word out of them.

This is why it was so impactful on Monday night when Tyron Smith and Zack Martin, those who Frederick has long been connected to the most, stepped away from their usually silent practices to honor their teammate and friend. They both tipped their hat to Travis.

Smith noted that things would not be the same without Frederick but pledged to charge forward in his honor. Martin, who lined up directly next to Frederick for a majority of the last six years, reflected on the 2018 season that the center missed. Martin said it was then that he saw the true resolve that Frederick has.

What has been great about the Cowboys current offensive linemen is that they’ve been great people off of the field and close to each other throughout it all. It has been fun to root for and the sobering reality is that part of it, a third at least, is over.

It can be difficult to say goodbye. We’ll all miss Travis the football player, but we’re so very grateful for all that he gave.