Aug 9, 2013; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) listens to instructions during practice at the LaBar Practice Complex. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Martin Only Needs to Be Great at One Position for the Dallas Cowboys


Jan 5, 2013; Miami FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive tackle Zack Martin (70) speaks to the media during media day for the 2013 BCS Championship game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

By now everyone in Cowboys Land knows everything there is to know about new 1st round pick, Zack Martin. Last week Dallas shocked the world by making a smart and responsible pick in the first round. They tried their darnedest to trade back and screw something up, but trading back was not meant to be.

Zack Martin, dubbed by Mike Mayock as the safest pick in the draft, has the ability to play all five positions of the offensive line. Although more realistically he projects to play LG, RG, or RT. Those are the positions he was drafted for and those are the positions that merited such a high draft ranking.

Versatility on the offensive line is quite fortunate for the Dallas Cowboys since they are less than spectacular at guard and possibly needing a replacement at RT as soon as 2015 (Doug Free is not expected back). The Cowboys could use him at either of those positions so the pick warrented.

Many project Martin to play guard this year in place of Mackenzy Bernardeau, and then switch to RT in 2015 when Doug Free leaves. That plan makes the most sense and would fill (and hopefully upgrade) needed spots along the way. That’s where Zack Martin’s versatility pays off.

But what if…

Zack Martin turns out to be a jack-of-all-trades/master-of-none, so to speak? Disappointing would be an understatement. After all, he wasn’t just drafted for his versatility but rather his ability to dominate at multiple positions. The ability to be mediocre at multiple positions is not something the Cowboys need. They need their 1st rounders to play like first rounders. Anything short of Pro Bowl efforts should be considered disappointments.

The Cowboys lose if Zack Martin never becomes dominate at any one position. While I don’t believe playing guard in 2014 and then transitioning to right tackle in 2015 is too much to handle, the Cowboys need to be aware that it will be challenging.

1st round pick or not, Zack Martin needs to be developed appropriately. The Cowboys were thinking long-term when they drafted him. They need to think the same way when they are developing him. He needs to be dominant. If it’s at just one position – fine. If it’s multiple positions – super. But Dallas cannot afford a versatile role player.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected] and you may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Sport DFW on twitter @TheRealSportDFW Check out more of Reid’s articles here: http://sportdfw.com/author/reidhanson/

Tags: Dallas Cowboys Doug Free Mackenzy Bernadeau Zack Martin