Travis Frederick ready to fight for starting spot

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick Travis Frederick worked at center and guard during the first rookie minicamp practice Friday.

His final position hasn't been determined, but it's clear the Cowboys want to start Frederick.

As of now, the Cowboys have three centers: Phil Costa, Ryan Cook and Frederick. This doesn't include guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, who started at center against Washington on Nov. 22 when Cook was injured.

"I feel like it's a fight," Frederick said about the center position. "I don't believe that anybody on the starting line is saying, 'Oh, they drafted this guy. He should be the guy.' It's not going to be that way. I'm going to have to fight for it, and I'm going to have to prove that I'm the best guy for it."

The Cowboys were impressed with Frederick's nastiness and his football IQ when he played at Wisconsin. Still, there was much debate about the Cowboys' first-round pick.

The Cowboys had a second-round grade on Frederick, while other teams had him projected for the third or fourth rounds. When the Cowboys moved down from No. 18 to No. 31, there was a thought the team bypassed some talented players to select Frederick.

For two days, Cowboys general manager/owner Jerry Jones defended the draft-day process, saying trade charts credited the Cowboys with getting the better value. In the trade with the San Francisco 49ers, the Cowboys swapped first-round picks and an extra third-round pick. Some trade charts indicate the Cowboys should have gotten a second rounder instead of a third rounder.

The "hows" and "whys" of the trade has put pressure on Frederick to become a starter instantly.

"I think for me it's just about going out there and playing like I did in college and the way that I know that I can play," Frederick said. "I have to take advantage of the great coaching (that I have here). Coach (Bill) Callahan is a great coach and I think he can make me a better player than I have been. If I can work just as hard as I can and take advantage of his coaching, I can prove some people wrong."