Dallas Cowboys centre Travis Frederick retires
Jerry Jones: 'His career on the field was only exceeded by a rare display of courage and determination in overcoming a life-threatening illness'
Last Updated: 23/03/20 11:49pm
Dallas Cowboys centre Travis Frederick has announced that he is retiring from the NFL at the age of just 29.
Frederick has been an outstanding performer for the Cowboys since he was drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft - making the Pro Bowl on five occasions.
But he missed the 2018 season after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome - an auto-immune disease which attacks the body's nervous system.
Frederick returned for the 2019 season and earned his final Pro Bowl nod - but has now decided to call a halt to his impressive career.
He wrote: "My illness forced me to imagine life after football. I had to prepare for my career potentially ending.
"Some players fear life when it no longer revolves around football, the moment one stops playing the sport to which one's identity and dreams have been tied for 20 years.
"After months of contemplation, I found myself not only accepting that moment but welcoming that moment.
"However, the competitor in me would not accept going out without returning to the field.
"I made my return, 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 not what my teammates deserve.
"Because of this, I know my days as a football player are done."
Frederick didn't miss a game in five seasons before the diagnosis.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said: "His leadership ability, production and intelligence put him at the top level of interior offensive linemen in our league for many years..
"At the pinnacle of his success, his career on the field was only exceeded by a rare display of courage and determination in overcoming a life-threatening illness and returning to the game - a challenge that could only be completed by a person with rare levels of perseverance and strength.
"As a contributor to our community, a family man and a professional person, he has distinguished himself as an exemplary representative of this organisation."