WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 05, 2018 at 1:08 am.

–Cowboys center Travis Frederick was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome in mid-August. Guillain-Barre is an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system.

As scary as that sounds, Frederick issued a statement that was optimistic that he will be able to play football again, perhaps this season.

“In the last 48 hours, I have received two treatments that address my condition, and I am feeling much better from an overall strength perspective,” Frederick’s statement said. “I will continue these treatments over the next few days. I am very optimistic about my condition and the immediate future, as I have been told that the illness was detected at a fairly early stage. My doctors have told me that it is not possible to determine a timetable for a return to the field right now, but I am hopeful that I will be able to play as soon as possible.”

Frederick discovered the condition by seeing specialists in response to stingers suffered in training camp. He was on the sideline and attended practice in late August and the Cowboys kept him on the active 53-man roster.

Until Frederick’s return, Dallas will turn to veteran Joe Looney at center. Looney has garnered praise for his play in Frederick’s absence.

“Believe it or not, (Looney is) getting better and better and better with the snaps that he gets,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “It’s a great illustration of the value of getting practice reps and game reps. I think he’s really handled it well and I think he’s improved as a player.”

–Randy Gregory was cleared this summer to return to the Cowboys from his suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Gregory missed almost all of the 2016 and 2017 seasons on suspension. But Dallas is optimistic that the defensive end is on track to contribute in 2018.

Following the Cowboys’ preseason loss to the Cardinals on Aug. 26, rumors surfaced on Twitter that Gregory could be in more trouble with the league. So far those rumors have been unsubstantiated. They were, however, enough for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to issue a statement that night.

“Well, let’s just put it like this: his deal is day-to-day,” Jones said. “Every day is another day there. Randy, he came into this league as an outstanding player – there’s no question about his talent. Having said that, we’ve just got to continue to work.”

–There were doubts as to whether or not tight end Rico Gathers would make the 53-man roster heading into cutdown day over the weekend. Then Gathers got arrested on Friday night for possession of marijuana, leading many to believe it would spell his departure from the team. But Gathers made the 53-man roster as the Cowboys elected to keep four tight ends.

–With the surprise cut of Dan Bailey on Saturday, Dallas will turn to NFL rookie Brett Maher as its kicker. Maher, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten selection at Nebraska, spent the 2014 through 2017 seasons playing in the Canadian Football League before catching on with the Cowboys this time around. He was with the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2013.

Maher, who made a 57-yard field goal in the preseason finale against the Texans on Thursday, hit 78 percent of his field-goal tries in the CFL.

TEAM MVP

–Running back Ezekiel Elliott: The Cowboys’ star rookie of 2016 had a drastically different second NFL season. His case for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy was tied up in court for a big chunk of the start of the season, then he served a six-game suspension. Dallas needs him to rebound and be even better than he was in 2016. If he can do that, he will be the driving force of a playoff team.
TEAM ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

–Wide receiver Michael Gallup: The Cowboys retooled their passing game and Gallup showed all training camp that he’s ready to be a part of the new look. Gallup caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott in Dallas’s preseason opener against the 49ers. That ended up being a rare highlight in an otherwise lackluster slate of preseason games for the Cowboys. But it was enough to indicate that Gallup could be a playmaker this season.