Cowboys: The curious signings of Marcus Martin And Joe Looney

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Bradley Pinion
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 01: Bradley Pinion /

The Dallas Cowboys quietly inked two reserve interior linemen this weekend making for quite the curious situation

After starting the free agent period treasonously inactive, the Dallas Cowboys have turned things around, adding player after player to the roster. Such activity is sparking rampant speculation and thoughtful discussion around Cowboys Nation.

A few days ago, the Allen Hurns signing dominated the blogosphere. Would his addition come at Dez Bryant’s expense or would he be a complement to Dez? Who is the odd man out and who stands to gain the most?

But flying under the radar and in the shadows was the low-level signings of Marcus Martin and Joe Looney.

Individually they each have value because of their ability to be a game day reserve who can cover three spots. But together they are nothing more than redundant.

Many Cowboys fans will remember Joe Looney from last season. Looney entertained us with his bulging Ezekiel Elliott impression. Professionally he assisted the team in his position flex along the interior of the line. Marcus Martin is a name many of us have been unfamiliar with until his name popped up a few days ago as scheduled visitor to the Star.

Martin is a similar player to Looney in that he can play both guard spots as well as center.

I suppose “play” is the operative word since many analysts and sports writers thought he played rather poorly on both the Browns and the 49ers.

Because of this (being a poor player on a couple poor teams) many fans are scratching their heads concerning the role Martin will play in 2018. Of course, the optimists of us are citing his promising scouting report and calling him an undeveloped talent who can still be made a force.

But whatever camp you fall in, the signing of the two players is a curious one, to say the least. Why would the Dallas Cowboys invest in two similarly skilled players who fill the exact same role?

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Individually they each have value because of their ability to be a game day reserve who can cover three spots. But together they are nothing more than redundant.

Who’s starting and where

The thing we all must keep in mind is neither of these gentlemen appear to be starters. With the left guard position seemingly open, many are tabbing Martin for the starting nod. That’s not very likely to happen.

Still, others are moving La’el Collins from right tackle to left guard since the Cowboys signed Super Bowl starter, Cameron Fleming. That would also be a bit of a leap.

For Collins to move, Fleming is going to have to meet or exceed Collins’ play at right tackle. The Cowboys are reserving the right to move Collins, but I doubt they are planning to move him.

What this likely means is the left guard position is still wide open. No one has the spot locked down, and frankly, no on even has the leg up. Because of this, it would be shocking if the Cowboys didn’t address the position in the first four rounds of the draft.

Next: Odd man out: Could this Dallas receiver be traded?

Marcus Martin and Joe Looney appear to be oddly similar so signing them seems curious and redundant. It’s going to be tough to make sense of this until we see them compete in training camp. But what we must take away now is that neither player is likely to be the answer at starting left guard.

That question remains unanswered.