Cowboys center Travis Frederick is more concerned with the present, and that means making sure children in Dallas-Fort Worth have food while out of school.
Frederick established the Blocking Out Hunger Foundation four years ago, and the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the urgency of supplying food to those in need. He and a group of Cowboys teammates and coaches committed to match up to $40,000 in public donations through a partnership with Sharing Life Community Outreach.
But Frederick also has considered the “what-ifs” of the future. He, like everyone else, doesn’t know how the coronavirus will further impact the NFL.
The team’s voluntary spring offseason program will not begin as scheduled April 6. It seems unlikely spring workouts will take place at all.
“The way the schedule is set up is to allow everyone to get the work they need,” Frederick said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “You have to try and make it fair for everyone, which is interesting with teams that hired new coaching staffs versus ones that have existing coaching staffs, the player turnover. It’s set up to be fair, that everyone has the right amount of time so that they can prepare themselves. When you’ve cut down on that time, it puts teams that have new coaching staffs at a major disadvantage.
“So you can’t just cut that time out, but then, you have to cut time out somewhere. Who knows if that’s going to be during the season, if it’s going to be the preseason, if it’s going to be training camp, OTAs? There are so many different periods. It’s just unprecedented. We just have no idea where it’s going, pertaining to us but in the bigger picture. We have no idea what’s going to happen with the virus itself, how it’s going to affect the world in general, how it’s going to affect the United States, the economy and industry across the board.”
NFL teams held no offseason programs in 2011 during the work stoppage but training camps weren’t impacted after the sides reached agreement that summer. The 2011 season began on time.
But with the NBA, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer and the National Hockey League having suspended their seasons, NFL players have thought of the worst-case scenario for their season.
“You have to be aware that that could be a possibility,” Frederick said. “When you see the other professional leagues be shut down, modified or suspended, you imagine what those people are going through. To think that may happen with us in our league, it’s different. There is a little bit of time, but there also isn’t because of what I laid out before and how it sets up through the entire year.
“We don’t really get a true offseason. It’s not like we are off after the season is over, and then you just come back during training camp. It’s a different game than that. It will be really interesting to see what happens. You don’t know where it’s going. You don’t know how long it could last. It definitely could play into our season.”