Travis Frederick is a winner, even in retirement. The former Cowboys center picked up a prestigious award from the Pro Football Writers of America when they voted him this year’s winner of the George Halas Award.
[Frederick’s] the 52nd Halas Award winner, the second member of the Cowboys to receive the honor, joining Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach (1980).
The Halas Award is given to an NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes adversity to succeed. The award is named for a charter member (1963) of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who had a role with the formation of the NFL and owned the Chicago Bears until his death in 1983.
Frederick sat out the 2018 season when he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome during training camp, and for a time it was unknown if he could ever play football again. He did return for the 2019 season and while he was still one of the top centers in the league, he didn’t feel he was playing up to his standards, and he wasn’t content with that. It was something he specifically mentioned in his retirement statement.
I made my return to the field, played well overall, and was selected to the Pro Bowl, but it was a difficult year for me. Each day, I faced a struggle: I could no longer perform at my highest level. Playing `well’ is not what I expect of myself and is not what my teammates deserve. Because of this, I know my days as a football player are done. I am proud of what I have accomplished in my career, and I walk away with my head held high.
That, my friends, is a class act. He wasn’t going to just take a paycheck, he wanted to be the best or move on and spend time with his family and do charitable work. The Cowboys were privileged to have Frederick for the time they did.