March 23 (UPI) -- Dallas Cowboys star center Travis Frederick announced Monday on social media that he is retiring from the NFL.
"Travis Frederick, by the nature of his center position, was the core piece of what I believe to be one of the most talented and skilled NFL offensive lines that has been assembled," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement. "His leadership ability, production and intelligence put him at the top level of interior offensive linemen in our league for many years.
"At the pinnacle of his success, his career on the field was only exceeded by a rare display of courage and determination in overcoming a life-threatening illness and returning to the game -- a challenge that could only be completed by a person with rare levels of perseverance and strength."
Frederick, who turned 29 last week, started every regular-season game from 2013-17 before he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that impacts the nervous system, in 2018. The disease, which caused him to lose strength and some motor skills, forced him to miss the entire 2018 season.
Frederick received treatment for the disease and eventually returned to the field in 2019, earning his fifth trip to the Pro Bowl. The former Wisconsin product attributed his long battle with the disease as a significant reason for his retirement.
"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," Frederick said on Twitter. "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 my head held high."
The Cowboys selected Frederick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2016 and was named second-team All-Pro twice (2014-15).
The Cowboys signed backup center Joe Looney to a one-year deal last week. Looney served as the team's starting center in Frederick's absence in 2018.