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September 03, 2013

Buzz for Cowboys opener reminds Frederick of Wisconsin days: 'There was always an expectation to win'

The Cowboys have been 8-8 two years in a row. Nobody wants to be 8-8 anymore. Travis Frederick doesn’t even know what that feels like.

“It seems like there is certainly a buzz around here, a certain level of excitement, and a certain level of expectation,” the Cowboys rookie center said Monday at Valley Ranch.

To him, it seemed familiar somehow …

“It feels the same way it felt for me at Wisconsin,” he said. “There was always an expectation to win. You never were the underdog. It was always your job to go out and win. I feel that same level of expectation here. Everyone expects to go out and be contenders and go out and play well, so hopefully, we can put ourselves in good position to win a game.”

Monday marked the start of the first real work week for Frederick, who has been the center since he got to Valley Ranch in May for the first post-draft rookie minicamp.

“Playing a game is playing a game,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity, whether it’s preseason or regular season. Obviously, it’s a little bit more important, per se, that it’s regular season. Any time you get a chance to play a game, you need to go out and play your hardest. I guess there’s a little bit more. But I also guess it’s just a level of focus on the Giants.”

The pomp of a season opening NFL game in an 80,000-seat stadium is no big deal, either, apparently.

“I’ve played in big crowds before and things like that,” the rookie said. “I’m not really worried about it. For me, it’s more about the game. It’s not about who’s watching.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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