Cowboys Pro Bowl Center Travis Frederick Retires at Age 29

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick #72 during Bears vs Cowboys game in 2016. Photo by Albert Pena/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (6030204bc)

Dallas Cowboys’ center Travis Frederick announced on Tuesday that he is retiring from the NFL. The Pro Bowler just recently turned 29.

While this comes as a surprise to most casual NFL fans, Frederick was contemplating retirement for some time now. In the announcement posted on his Twitter profile, he explained that the retirement decision was influenced by the Guillain-Barré syndrome diagnosis he received in 2018.

The illness, which affects the nervous system, caused Frederick to miss the entire 2018. He bounced back in 2019 with a Pro Bowl-worthy campaign, but he still felt the effects of the disease. 

“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,” said Frederick. “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,” he added.

Travis Frederick entered the league in 2013 as Cowboys’ 31st overall pick. He started all 16 games in his rookie season, earning a PFWA All-Rookie Team selection. Frederick went on to earn Pro Bowl honors and start 16 games in each of the next five seasons he played.