DALLAS -

Travis Frederick's decision to leave the Wisconsin football program after his junior season paid off Thursday night when the Dallas Cowboys selected him with the 31st pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Frederick is 6-4, 312 pounds and was generally considered the top draft prospect at center.

The Cowboys traded their No. 18 pick to San Francisco for the 31st pick in the first round and the 74th overall pick (third round).

He started 31 games at Wisconsin - 18 at center and 13 at guard.

Frederick was an Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2012.

He will return to UW on May 18 and take part in graduation ceremonies for his degree in computer engineering.

Frederick is working on his final eight credits — finishing projects for two independent studies courses — before heading off to some NFL team’s rookie minicamp.

The Sharon, Wisconsin native struggled in pre-draft workouts, running a 5.6 40-yard dash, but the Cowboys feel Frederick is very athletic and a bit of a "bruiser" on the interior line.

Dallas now has three centers on its roster - Phil Costa, Ryan Cook and now Frederick.