Cowboys McCarthy Football

New Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, right, greets player Travis Frederick after a press conference at the Dallas Cowboys headquarters on Jan. 8. Frederick, a former Wisconsin Badger and Wisconsin native, retired Monday. 

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Former University of Wisconsin offensive lineman Travis Frederick retired Monday after a seven-year career in the NFL.

The Sharon, Wisconsin, native who played his entire pro career with the Dallas Cowboys posted on Twitter he no longer wished to play after battling Guillain-Barré syndrome. The disease, which is an immune system disorder that damages the peripheral nervous system, forced the All-Pro center to sit out the 2018 season.

He played last year and was a Pro Bowl selection for the fifth time in career, but he said the fight took its toll.

“That experience forced me to reevaluate my life priorities. I spent much of that year thinking about both the past and future. I realized how fortunate I was to play a game for a living. I realized how fortunate I was to make friends and become teammates with some great men. Most of all, I realized the importance of my family and how much I want to be there for their peaks and valleys as they were for me,” the 29-year-old Frederick wrote.

“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 head held high.”

Frederick was a star in multiple sports at Big Foot High School before joining the Badgers.

He played in 27 games over two years for UW, leaving after his junior season for the NFL. Frederick led the way for Montee Ball in his two seasons as the starting center (2011-12), helping Ball amass 3,753 yards in those years. Frederick helped UW win back-to-back Big Ten Conference championships and played in two Rose Bowls.


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This article originally ran on madison.com.

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