The Cowboys offense is built on dominating the line of scrimmage. That’s why Dallas is making sure Zack Martin stays in town for a long time.
Handing a big contract to an offensive guard isn’t the sexiest move in the NFL, but in Zack Martin’s case it’s really effective. By making him the highest paid guard in football, the Cowboys have solidified their offensive line for the immediate future.
Exact terms of the deal haven’t been reported but NFL Network journalist Ian Rapoport claims it will be a six-year deal. That’s good news for Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and the rest of the Cowboys offense. They could ill afford to lose their dominant right guard.
In fairness to the Cowboys front office, the never made it seem like letting Martin go was a viable option. The team’s executive vice president Stephen Jones repeatedly assured Dallas fans that the team would come to an agreement with Martin. The player never seemed overly concerned with negotiations either.
Despite the lack of apparent drama, it’s still good for the Cowboys to go ahead and get this done. Obviously coming to an agreement now drastically increases the chances that Martin will be a full participant in the team’s preseason activities. Dallas will start their mandatory three-day minicamp on Tuesday and it’s expected that Martin will show up ready to play football.
The deal is about more than just this preseason though. Not dragging out negotiations shows Martin a genuine commitment on behalf of the organization. It’s difficult to quantify how that impacts a player’s performance, but it can only be a positive. Everyone wants to feel valued at their workplace. NFL offensive linemen are no exception.
Making Martin the highest paid guard in football leaves no question about how the Cowboys feel about him. The fact that it’s a six-year contract should also give the player a lot of security. Interestingly, it should also work in the team’s favor. The escalating nature of NFL contracts means it’s very likely this deal will look like a bargain in its last few years. Whether or not the Cowboys will have to renegotiate the deal before its conclusion is another question altogether.
What we do know, is that the Cowboys will continue to have one of the best offensive lines in football for the foreseeable future. The team’s decision to pay Martin the money he deserves is a clear sign they’ll continue to pound the football for years to come.