Zack Martin starting Cowboys career at guard


One of the most appealing things about offensive lineman Zack Martin heading into the draft was his experience playing multiple positions during his time at Notre Dame.

The Cowboys found it appealing enough that they selected Martin with the 16th overall pick last week and it looks like his first stop on the offensive line will be at guard.

“People believe he can play center — a lot of people argue he can play all five spots on the offensive line,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, via the team’s website. “Initially we’ll give him a chance to work inside as an offensive guard and see how he holds up there.”

Nick Eatman of the team’s website suggests Martin will supplant Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard with Ron Leary remaining at left guard and Bernadeau becoming a backup for all the interior spots. The future could bring a move to right tackle with Doug Free either moving on or kicking inside, but those decisions will wait until Martin shows what he can do at guard.

The Cowboys have used three first-round picks on offensive linemen the last four years, with left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick coming to Dallas before Martin. If Martin’s transition to the NFL goes as well as things have gone with the other two, the Cowboys will have solidified the line for several years regardless of where Martin winds up playing.

28 responses to “Zack Martin starting Cowboys career at guard

  1. Tyron Smith, Pro-Bowler. Travis Frederick NFL All Rookie. Now Zack Martin out if Notre Dame, Fighting Irish. Can’t wait to see this O-Line work cohesively w/ DeMarco in the backfield (5.2 yd per carry 1124 yards in 2013). Alright Jerry, you have my attention.

  2. They passed on 10-12 prime years of Johnny Cowboy so they can draft a Guard.

    This will go down as the textbook example of over-thinking a pick.

  3. One thing this will do is help Demarco in short yard situations. Remember the Skins game where he was stuffed 10 yards behind the line? There was no push to get one yard forcing Romo to throw a TD pass to take the lead for good.

    I think the O-line is finally coming together. John Madden said it best: “It all starts up front.”

  4. “16th pick for a guard? Good job there Jerra.”

    Not paying attention are you? See the 2013 draft when TWO guards were taken in the top 10 – at picks #7 and #10.

    Aside from the fact that he played primarily tackle and it was stated that he’d start at guard and most likely move to RT, maybe as soon as next year.

    That and teams have realized the importance of the interior line positions as QBs have the most trouble with pass rush up the middle rather than from the edge. Kind of explains why interior rushers like Donald are going higher in the draft than they used to.

  5. The cowboys will still be a dumpster fire this year with Tony Tomo as their QB. Biggest choke artist ever.

  6. I swear there are some nitwits that post on this site. “Way to use the 16th pick on a guard…blah blah blah” I’m a Rams fan and have heard the same thing about Greg Robinson starting off as a guard. Let me clear this up for the less intelligent-they are letting these guys get their feet wet at getting accustomed to blocking in the pros against slightly slower DTs before moving them to the outside to face the faster pass rushing DEs. Is that too hard to comprehend?

  7. if it doesn’t translate to key conversions and clock eating drives, it could be a rather wasted pick in the short term. The best place for the defense this year will be on the sideline I’m afraid.

  8. Jonathan Ogden, Hall of Fame LT, started as a guard, too. Not for long, but it can take a while for things to settle down.

    You really can’t reasonably criticize the Cowboys’ approach here.

  9. those that say the defense should have been the priority might be right… but if the cowboys can help run the ball (i.e Martin) then that will help keep the defense off the field. There is no way that defense will be that bad again, injuries killed the line last year and as of now they have 17 defensive lineman on the roster. It will be better and now they can run the ball. Sounds like an improvement to me.

  10. .
    Very few offensive linemen who are taken early in the draft become complete busts. The last thing the Cowboys need is for JJ to go freelancing to prove he’s the smartest guy in the room by taking some unknown Division 3 fullback.


  11. This kid was my pick at #12 Giants, but you got’em! He will make your team upgrade for many years! Outstanding character, can play G/T/C., I was hoping JJ would take the litle twit, Manzeeeelllll, but JJ hit gold with this pick, and yes, it was defense he wanted, Mosely was there, but you got a class act all in one player!

  12. dccowboy says: May 14, 2014 9:54 AM

    “16th pick for a guard? Good job there Jerra.”

    Not paying attention are you? See the 2013 draft when TWO guards were taken in the top 10 – at picks #7 and #10.


    Chance Warmack underwhelmed at Guard last year and that was with an already strong line (Levitre, Roos, Oher) in place. Jonathon Cooper got injured and didn’t even factor last year. By the way, you know who had the highest PFF grade by far for a rookie Guard?

    Larry Warford, taken in the THIRD round.

  13. Ok….Cowboy fans are hyping this up like they did when they drafted Morris Clayborne.Deja Vu????? Did anybody pay any attention to that 32nd ranked defense???? Hello!!!!! In case you guys didn’t know you must have a defense In order to win!!!! Don’t you feel stoooopid for hyping up Morris I’m a bust Clayborne???? Let the guy play some NFL first…..that is all…..

  14. Constanzo was picked pretty high by a Pittsburgh team that had a dozen holes. Don’t recall too many pitchforks out for that take, and that guy is purely a Guard.

    Note, he played well but did manage to take out Pouncy’s ACL last year.

  15. And even though they are capable of running the ball really well, Garrett and company will still call 45 pass plays per game. Perhaps some of the most mystifying play calling I have ever seen.

  16. For my Fantasy purposes this is the perfect scenario……….no Defense and shootouts every game………

  17. One of the reasons I support this pick is that if all goes as expected, the line is solid for years to come with Smith, Frederick and Martin all only 23 years old. The line will be in place for whenever a younger QB does replace Romo, allowing him to stay upright and develop. Think about all the QBs taken early in round 1 of drafts, only to get thrown behind a terrible line and is doomed from the beginning.

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