Dallas Cowboys rising star Travis Frederick answers fan submitted questions. A part of being a True-Blue is getting to know your players, beyond their jersey numbers and stats. Check out his answers:
Jeff P | Oklahoma City | Have you ever lost something and then found it in your beard?
Travis: Often times I’ll find food from before, from a previous meal. I’ve tried to come to the conclusion that for every inch that you have on your beard, you need another napkin.
Jessica B | Eagle River, Alaska | What is your favorite part of being a Cowboys player?
Travis: I think it’s fun being around all the guys in the locker room; we have a really good group of guys here. Obviously the leadership that we have, the guys that have been here for a long time are really core to this group, and the young guys are just kind of falling in and following that so it’s really cool to be a part of this group.
Jared G | Florida | How do you grow such a god-like beard? I need some tips on how to grow one. Teach me your ways.
Travis: I think it started back in eighth grade for me. I had to first cut it off for graduation and then it just kind of started coming in. The more you shave, the more it grows is what they tell me. I don’t shave anymore so I think it’s not growing any faster, but it just kind of comes in naturally.
Sterling B | Who are your top 5 musical groups or performers?
Travis: I like to listen to a variety of music, sometimes classics, sometimes whatever is on in the weight room, country music. I’m a big fan of George Strait, Eric Church, Tim McGraw. I really like the Eagles and The Beatles as well. It’s kind of a mix of groups.
Dylan H | Yokota Airbase, Japan | What is it like to be a member of the Cowboys? Cowboys are awesome!
Travis: It’s really cool; it’s really an honor to be a part of such a historic organization. The things that have happened in this organization for such a long time and just to be able to be a part of it is really an honor.
Eric S | Wisconsin | How did you watch the NCAA Championship?
Travis: I watched it at my house. We just got a new house and a new big TV. A couple of the O-Line guys and a couple other friends came over to watch the game.
Robert T | Manhattan, KS | What other sports did you play growing up?
Travis: I wrestled in high school, I threw shot put and discus. I think when I was really young I played some soccer, but I don’t remember at all how to play soccer. I played a little bit of basketball in middle school and a little bit of baseball in middle school.
Peyton B | Parkersburg, Iowa | How fun is it to be the man in the middle for the best OL in the league?
Travis: Like I said, it’s really an honor to play with these guys. I’m just the guy in the middle like he said. It’s the people around me that make it so special. Guys like Doug (Free) who have been here for so long and knows the ins and outs of everything. You’ve got Tyron (Smith) who’s one of the strongest, most athletic tackles that I’ve ever seen on film. You put guys like Ron (Leary) and Zack (Martin) who are so athletic and strong and built in the middle that it makes everything so solid across the board. It’s really just fun being a part of this group.
Skyler H | Denton, TX | I am a fellow bearded center in college and I was just curious if you had any tricks of the trade or tips you could give me?
Travis: I think just getting in the weight room and working as hard as you can in there is probably the biggest thing. Speed and quickness is the biggest change from college to the NFL, you can’t just be a strong guy. The strength is going to help and the speed progression as well.
Tom P | Easton, PA | While in your teens, what NFL team or players jersey did you own and wear proudly…don’t lie. Unless it was an Eagle, in which case please lie!
Travis: It definitely wasn’t the Eagles. I didn’t wear any jerseys, I was never really into the jerseys. I did cheer for the Bears when I was a kid. My grandfather has had season tickets for over 40 years now, so I went to my first Bears game when I was eight years old. I did really like Olin Kreutz, but again, as an offensive lineman, he didn’t really have a jersey on the market so I didn’t get a chance to wear it.
Tom P | Easton, PA | Which teammate, you included, has the worst case of OCD in the locker room and to what extent?
Travis: That’s tough to say, I know there’s a lot of messy lockers. I would say most of them are very messy, not a lot of clean freaks in the locker room. I would say that myself, I kind of let it go here. At home though, I try to keep things organized.
Stephen I | Fort Hood, TX | What would you have done career-wise if you didn’t pursue a career in football?
Travis: I would probably have done something in the computer industry; my degree is in computer engineering. Hopefully would have done something with one of the bigger computer companies. A couple of my friends I was working with got jobs at Facebook, Microsoft — those type of deals. It would be really cool to work for one of those big technology companies.
Scott H | New York, NY | Boxers or briefs?
Travis: Boxer briefs, right in the middle.
Ryan F | Bensalem, PA | Did you and Romo have a bet on the Wisconsin vs. Duke game?
Travis: We did not; I don’t think I can bet at Tony’s level. I was curious what Tony was going to do. I knew he was a Duke guy down at heart. I saw him on TV and he was completely neutral, went with a black shirt, his standard plain-blue hat. I did see him cheering for Duke, but I think he tried to stay as neutral as possible.
Michael Z | St. Petersburg, FL | Which Cowboys player do you respect and admire the most?
Travis: I think that’s tough to say because there’s so many greats. Obviously Tony (Romo) and Jason (Witten) and Sean (Lee), these guys who have been around and have been doing this for such a long time. Doug (Free) one of the guys that first took me under his wing when I got here and has kind of showed me the ropes, so I’d say that he’s probably one of the biggest.
Santino C | Niagara Falls | I just played my first year of football this year (10th grade) and started at tackle. Any advice for a young high school lineman?
Travis: I think the best thing you can do is work all year long at what you’re doing. It’s good to be in other sports and things like that, I think that’s going to help with your athleticism and your ability to do things. You have to continue to work in the weight room and continue to work on your football craft throughout the year even while you’re doing other stuff.
Genaro C | Corpus Christi, TX | Who was your favorite band as a freshman in high school?
Travis: Hmmm, that’s tough. You know I was just listening to standard country music back then. Let’s see, that was back in 2005? I’m trying to think who was big back then. Probably like Tim McGraw or I think Luke Bryan was just starting out then. He was young. George Strait, and I don’t know, just the standard country artists.
Ken D | McKinney, TX | It seems every time the camera is on the offensive line on the sidelines you guys are sitting in the same order as your positions, is this intentional or accidental? Does this continue off the field, meetings, dinners, etc.?
Travis: It’s intentional on the field when we sit down, because most of the communication happens between you and the guy next to you. Sometimes we’re talking across the group, it does get a little difficult for the tackles to kind of warn each other what’s going. It does translate out; it’s funny how that works. You’ll see us running or out at dinner, and it just kind of happens to be that way. I spend all of my time with Ron (Leary) and Zack (Martin) and Mackenzy (Bernadeau) because we spend all of our time working together and so that’s who we sit next to.
Josh B | Ogden, UT | I was wondering what the biggest fundamental challenge was that you faced making the quick transition from college to pro, either mentally, physically or even, well, fundamentally?
Travis: The biggest challenge I had in college was that I was still bigger and stronger than a lot of guys. A lot of good players come from the Big Ten, a few great players coming from the Big Ten, but when you get to the NFL everyone is great, so it’s really hard to make that adjustment. You really have to go back to some of those fundamentals, low pad level, turning your feet in the right place, putting your hands in the right place.
Michael A | Portland, TN | What was it like the first time you suited up in a Cowboys uniform and stepped on the field?
Travis: It was really exciting. I remember the Hall Of Fame Game vs. Miami. I was very nervous. I knew I was going to have play both center and guard, which made me even more nervous because I had to know both positions. It was surprisingly easy when I got out there. After the initial shock of it, it was just kind of going and then it just becomes natural.
E’Torrion W | Beaumont, TX | Who is your favorite NBA player and NBA team?
Travis: You know I don’t watch any NBA basketball, so I can’t really say. I guess I do go to a Mavs (Dallas Mavericks) game every once in a while, so the classic answer is Dirk here. I guess I’m going to go with Dirk.
Lenny M | Oak Park, IL | If you had a choice, would you try to ride a bull for eight seconds or run with the bulls in Spain?
Travis: I know that riding a bull takes a lot of skill and athleticism. Running with the bulls requires a little bit of speed and I lack that, so I think that riding the bull is a little bit safer for me.
David D | USA | If you were going to go back in time and talk to young Travis entering the NFL, what is the one thing you wish you knew/understood better?
Travis: I think it would be just to really take in everything from everybody. That sounds really odd. I watched a lot of film on a lot of other centers and kind of took a little bit here and a little bit there, but I focused a lot just on that and a little less on what was coming in from the leaders of the team, and how to become a leader. I think that immersing myself here and doing what I need to do here would have been just a little bit more important.
Cristian C | Brownsville, TX | Can you perform at my son’s bar mitzvah?
Travis: (laughs) Only if I can get Zack (Martin) to come with me.
Khoa B | Houston, TX | How do you stay hungry and humble to get better when you face challenges and things don’t go your way?
Travis: I think it’s the fact that you want to be the best and you want to continue to do that for yourself, but even more so for the guys around you. It’s really easy to come in everyday and work early in the morning or after a bad game, because you have the guys that we have around. It’s much harder in the offseason if you’re training by yourself to get yourself up in the morning and go work out. The best thing that you can do is just think about those guys that you could be letting down or you could be helping out. It really comes down to the family aspect of it.
Special Thanks: Lauren Sokol | Dallas Cowboys Digital Media Producer | @Sokesss
Courtesy/Source: Dallas Cowboys website feature