By Matthew Postins
Meet Zack Martin
The Dallas Cowboys selected Notre Dame Offensive Lineman Zack Martin with their first round (No. 16 overall) selection on Thursday night. Find out more about him below:
Height, Weight: 6-foot-4, 308 pounds
The skinny: Although all 39 of his college starts were at tackle, teams are looking at Martin mostly as a guard. He is short for a left tackle and perhaps not powerful enough for a right tackle. Regardless, he is a team leader who made a case for himself at tackle. Picking a position for him to play is the only issue. This smart, aware, two-time team captain with the most career games in Notre Dame history (52) can certainly play somewhere. – Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com
What Cowboys are getting: A new starting right guard or tackle, in all honesty. Sure, the Cowboys have Mackenzy Bernadeau and Doug Free sitting there as the incumbents. But it’s been clear the past two seasons that the Cowboys were searching for upgrades at those positions. Martin represents that upgrade. Most scouts consider Martin to be a position flex lineman. In other words he could play either right tackle or right guard. Teams were not looking at him as a left-side guy. Looking down the road the Cowboys have Bernadeau and Free locked up this year. They can keep them, let Martin’s play dictate where he ends up. There are several scenarios that could play out, including moving Martin to right tackle and sliding Free to right guard, a scenario the Cowboys played with a bit last year when they were under the impression that Jermey Parnell could replace Free at right tackle. He couldn’t. Perhaps Martin can. At worst he’s going to seriously challenge Bernadeau at right guard immediately.
Postins’ Take: Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones shouted down his demons Thursday night. Or perhaps someone else in the Cowboys War Room shouted them down for him. Either way, the Cowboys passed on the free-falling Johnny Manziel at No. 16 and chose to take a value pick in Martin. This could be an example of things changing at Valley Ranch, in terms of what is valued on that football team. Think about it – the flashiest of all of the flashiest things in this draft fell to the Cowboys and they didn’t bite. Martin isn’t flashy, but like center Travis Frederick last year, he looks like he’ll be a great fit up front.
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