And with the 16th pick the Dallas Cowboys select Zack Martin…maybe this pick didn’t provoke the amount of fanfare you were all hoping for but the pick was better than what many may initially think. Zack Martin has been dubbed by multiple experts as the safest pick in the draft. Projected as both an OT and an OG he provides the versatility the Cowboys need. As a guard he’s seen as the best in the draft class and a realistic All-Pro. As a right tackle he is seen as a Top 4 talent in the draft class and a legitimate future Pro Bowler.
The jury may be out on both the position he plays, and the immediate needs of the Cowboys, but it’s tough to discredit the man himself. Offensive linemen are currently the safest position group to draft in the first round. They have low bust rates and high Pro Bowl rates. Maybe that’s why 3 of the last 4 years the Cowboys have invested 1st round picks in the offensive line.
Martin is an extremely intelligent and fundamentally polished player. He could easily slide into guard or right tackle from Day 1. He’s not as tall as you’d like in a tackle but his hands and general athleticism more than make up for it.
Martin is quick and well-versed in zone blocking, making his transition to Bill Callahan’s zone blocking scheme in Dallas, a smooth one. He is tough and durable and always finds a way to play on game day. For anyone who understands the dynamics of the offensive line, that is an important trait.
The pick signals to Cowboys fans that this franchise is interested in rebuilding the right way. The Cowboys took the best player available despite the obvious needs on the defensive line. The Cowboys are going to need some time to become a legitimate contender again, but the Martin pick is a step in the right direction.
This pick wasn’t a reach like Travis Frederick seemed a year ago. Zack Martin was drafted in a very appropriate place and was actually projected to go earlier. He wasn’t a flashy pick but rather a smart pick. He’s the kind of pick a team makes that’s under the radar in order to build something great.
Zack Martin will team with fellow first rounders, Travis Frederick and Tyron Smith, to form one of the best lines in football. Not just in 2014 but for roughly the next decade. The defense needs help and it’s sure to get it in the subsequent rounds. But as they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. The Cowboys appear to be building something real, something true, something to last. It may take a little time, but Dallas is on it’s way…