Earlier in the offseason, the Cowboys made Zack Martin the highest paid guard in football. His injury could derail Dallas’ season before it every begins.
It’s an open secret that the Cowboys offense will rely heavily on running the football this season. The absence of any top-notch wide receivers for Dak Prescott will see to that. Jason Garrett and company are going to find it difficult to dominate opponents on the ground without All-Pro guard Zack Martin.
The highest paid guard in the NFL went down in the second quarter of the Cowboys preseason game against the Bengals on Saturday night. Martin limped off the field with an obvious knee injury and was closely examined by Cowboys’ medical officials in the team’s injury tent before he was taken to the locker room. It’s unclear how serve the injury might be a this time, but Cowboys officials will certainly face a nervous wait before learning Martin’s fate.
To put it mildly, losing Martin would be a disaster for the Cowboys offense. The coaching staff wants to base a large part of their attack this season on running Ezekiel Elliott behind their standout right guard. When he’s at his best, there isn’t a better run blocking guard in football than Martin. His ability to move defensive tackles out of the way is a huge reason why Elliott can post big rushing totals for Dallas.
Remember, the team is already planning to integrate rookie Connor Williams into the starting lineup at the left guard spot. He’s inevitably going to face some highs and lows as a first-year player in the NFL. The presence of such a talented player at left guard is being counted on as a steadying influence to help Williams adjust to the rigors of professional football.
The options behind Martin on the offensive line aren’t very inspiring. Damien Mama is currently listed as the team’s second option at right guard, but he hasn’t played in a single game in the NFL during his brief career. Expecting him to play at anything close to Martin’s Pro Bowl level would be pure fantasy on behalf of anyone associated with the Cowboys.
The ugly truth of the matter is that the Cowboys can’t afford for a player or Martin’s quality to go down with a serious injury. Their margin for error on the offensive side of football is simply too thin. Cowboys’ officials will be on pins and needles waiting for Martin’s prognosis.