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April 26, 2013

Jerry Jones promises Frederick is going to be a starter: 'First-rounder and not start?'

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said first-round pick Travis Frederick is going to start next year.

But he didn’t say whether it would be at center or guard.

“I had hoped that we could come out of this thing with a legitimate starter – a legitimate starter, and he will start,” Jones said Thursday night in a conversation with reporters at Valley Ranch.

“He will start?” somebody repeated.

“First-rounder and not start?” Jones said. “Now, I know the coach wants there to be competition, and should be, and we all know that’s the way it is. But we want to put a base in there where you don’t have a knock-back issue. Bill Callahan is a big center guy. After your left tackle, he likes the center position as far as the best players on the offensive line. He’ll be the first to tell you that.”

Jones said the Cowboys still like Phil Costa, who they extended last year, at center even as he is coming off an ankle injury.

“We’re pretty proud of Costa, frankly,” Jones said. “So can this guy play guard? You bet he can. He played guard up until last year.”

If Frederick winds up in the starting lineup, he would be the fourth consecutive No. 1 pick to become an instant starter for the Cowboys. Dez Bryant, Tyron Smith and Morris Claiborne moved into the starting lineup right away the last three years.

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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