Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys: Grading the Zack Martin Pick

While many people thought the pick was going to be Johnny Manziel, it turned out the Dallas Cowboys wanted to draft Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier. The Cowboys need an athletic player who can play the weakside linebacker. Bruce Carter was supposed to flourish as the WILL linebacker, but his 2013 was subpar to say the least. After the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Shazier a pick before them, madness was going on in the Cowboys’ war room. The Cowboys fielded dozens of calls, but no one wanted to trade up.

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Dallas’ best available player on their board was Manziel, but Jerry Jones said how no quarterback could beat out Tony Romo. That being said, the Cowboys elected to take Notre Dame’s Zack Martin. At the Senior Bowl, Martin said how he could play anywhere across the offensive line. NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock backed up this statement and he said he would thrive at any position on the offensive line. Many have said that Martin is the safest pick in the draft. While he may have more potential than him, Martin is a safer prospect than Greg Robinson. Martin won’t knock over opponents like Larry Allen did, but he is a technician and he gets the job done.

Like Travis Frederick, Martin isn’t the fastest player, as is the case by his 40-time. But, Martin is capable of getting to the second level of the defense. At 6’4″, 308 pounds, Martin could easily play tackle or guard. From what Bryan Broaddus and Mike Fisher are saying, the Cowboys will play Martin at guard in his rookie season, but he could the starting right tackle in his second season if Doug Free doesn’t improve.

With the Cowboys picking Martin, it was the third time in the past four years where they drafted an offensive line. In 2013, the Cowboys drafted Frederick out of Wisconsin after they traded back in the first round. In 2011, the Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith in the top ten. Championships are won in the trenches and the Cowboys have a great foundation in that group. It shouldn’t be long until the Cowboys have three offensive linemen in the Pro Bowl.

Stay turned for our grade on second-round pick Demarcus Lawrence.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Travis Frederick Tyron Smith Zack Martin

  • David

    I really hope Martin turns into the pro bowler they think he is because I think passing on Pryor with such a huge need at safety could be a mistake.

    • Ryan Ratty

      Wilcox will be good this season. You watch! Thanks for reading, David.

      • David

        He better be or they will be bad to average on defense.

        • Ryan Ratty

          Good news is that the defensive line is much improved.

          • David

            That will help. But it wont make average to terrible safeties great.

          • Ryan Ratty

            It was first year. Gotta give the guy a chance.

          • David


            All of their safeties have coverage and range issues. Those are pretty big issues. Oh well, its like Ive told my fellow Cowboys fans. The new HC next year is going to inherit a great O-line.

          • bigcee23

            All these players selected are Garrett guys . Remember when he got hired the first thing he did was pick Jimmy Johnson brain.We will be a much better team this season and seasons to come. btw don’t count Willcox out as the starting safety.we have to remember his mom died during camp last year and FYI he was a 3rd pick if I’m not mistaken

          • David

            Thats great they are Garrets guys but next year they will be someone elses guys unless JJ keeps him again after another 8-8 or worse season. And Im sure Wilcox will be one of the starting safeties. He was average to terrible all of last year. Yes he was a 3rd round pick from a small school and played safety for all of ten minutes after switching from RB.

          • bigcee23

            I think.what we seen in this year’s draft was jj letting his coaching staff (Garret, marinelli,etc) pick the guys they wanted and when you let them do that you’ll get positive results. Wilcox will be a positive factor go back and watch the last few games of the year after all he went thru he finally was able to settle down and played some good football. Garrett will get that extension after this upcoming season. Positive thoughts and energy David

  • Scott.

    Fans forget Wilcox only played 2 years at safety in college. One can say it was a bad pick but to be fair to him he was overwhelmed last year. I’m giving him another year to improve. The guys picking know much more than I do.

    • Ryan Ratty

      Thank, you Scott. Finally someone who knows lol. Even if it was an unknown player from a D-III school being drafted by the Cowboys in the first round, you can never say he was a bust. Rookie contracts are usually three years. That is because it gives them enough time to prove their worth on an NFL roster.

  • prifunk2002

    This was a great draft. they have a lot to work with. injuries brought this team down last year.the defense was awesome when it was healthy. we have good coaches. this team was only a healthy romo away from a division championship. i am glad that the front office didnt resond to the media hype. the trade of the third round pick wasnt a big deal. Cowboys save money by not having to sign a 3rd rounder.i am happy. now it is time to go to work.