Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin didn’t suffer ligament damage to his left knee in Saturday’s 21-13 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Sunday.
According to Pelissero, Martin has a hyperextended knee and a bone bruise. The Dallas Morning News’ David Moore had reported the Cowboys received “encouraging” results from an MRI on Martin’s knee and that they’re hopeful he’ll be available for Week 1 of the 2018 regular season.
Dallas opens the year Sept. 9 on the road against the Carolina Panthers.
Martin is coming off his fourth straight Pro Bowl season in 2017. He’s a big reason the Cowboys ranked fourth in adjusted line yards last season, per Football Outsiders.
The 27-year-old sat third in Bleacher Report’s NFL1000 year-end ranking of the top offensive guards.
“When he engages, Martin latches onto his defender like an octopus and starts pushing back right away,” B/R’s Doug Farrar wrote. “He’s able to match aggression with technique, making him one of the best power-blockers of his generation.”
The fact Martin avoided a more serious knee injury is great news for the Cowboys, who signed him to a six-year, $84 million extension in June.
Martin’s streak of 64 straight starts may not be in imminent danger either. Since Dallas selected him 16th overall in the 2014 draft, he has yet to miss a game in the NFL.
The Dallas Cowboys have locked down offensive guard Zack Martin by signing him to a six-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid guard in NFL history, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The six-year contract is worth $84 million and $40 million guaranteed, Rapoport reported Wednesday. The deal includes the largest guaranteed salary for the position.
Andrew Norwell previously held these records after signing a $66.5 million deal over five years with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March, featuring $30 million in guarantees.
Martin has established himself as one of the best in the NFL at his position, earning a Pro Bowl selection in each of his first four seasons. He was named first-team All-Pro twice in this stretch, adding two more selections to the second team.
Pro Football Focus rated him as the No. 3 offensive guard in the league in 2016 and No. 2 overall in 2017 behind only David DeCastro of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has especially excelled as a run-blocker, ranking as the top player at his position in the ground game.
Additionally, he has started all 64 regular-season and three playoff games for the Cowboys in his time in the league.
This skill set and durability are a big reason the organization was determined to sign him to a long-term contract.
“I think he’s an important part of our future,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said in July of 2017, per Rob Phillips of the team’s official website. “He represents everything we want our players to be about. He’s not only a great player on the field, he’s a great person off the field.”
Although the two sides weren’t able to come together on a deal prior to last season, the player remained confident in finding a long-term deal.
“I was lucky enough to be drafted here and I want to be here for my career,” Martin said in December, per Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “Hopefully we can get something worked out.”
They were finally able to come to an agreement, keeping intact one of the top offensive lines in the NFL that also features Pro Bowlers Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick. Although the team took a step back in 2017 while finishing with a 9-7 record, there is enough talent available to return to prominence in 2018.
With young stars like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott still playing under their rookie contracts for the next few years, Dallas could remain a top contender in the NFC for several seasons.
The Dallas Cowboys have been without their star offensive lineman, Zack Martin, but Jason Garrett’s team could get the All-Pro offensive guard back on the field this afternoon.
Martin, who’s been dealing with an injury, has been questionable all week heading into today’s game against Tampa Bay.
The Cowboys’ star offensive lineman is currently going through a pregame workout on the field at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Martin had said earlier in the week that he expected to play this afternoon against Tampa Bay.
“I’m feeling better, and I’m hopeful for this week,” Martin said per David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve had a good couple of days, especially today.”
The Cowboys’ offense struggled without Martin last week, getting shut out by the Indianapolis Colts, 23-0, at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Dallas has a couple of other players dealing with injuries, too, as linebacker Sean Lee (hamstring), cornerback Anthony Brown (hand/back) and receiver Tavon Austin (groin) are questionable heading into today’s game.
The Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line, once thought of as the clear-cut best offensive line in the NFL, has taken a step back this season, in part due to injuries and in part due to inconsistent play.
Zack Martin, the team’s right guard, has remained a star, though. He’s arguably the best guard in the NFL and has been playing like it for years.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys appear to have lost Martin to injury against the Philadelphia Eagles tonight.
Martin, who signed a huge contract extension this offseason, was injured on a play in the first quarter against the Eagles. He was down on the field for several minutes, appearing to be in some serious pain.
Martin was eventually able to get up and walk off of the field. He was getting helped by some of the Cowboys’ trainers.
“Zack Martin limping off the field with assistance of the athletic training staff.”
Martin is currently in the blue injury tent, getting looked at by the Cowboys’ medical staff.
The right guard appears to be dealing with a knee injury.
“Zack Martin is in pain after reaching for his left knee. He has been playing through a sprained MCL. The Cowboys are playing with their backup right guard Xavier Su’a-Filo and have not had their starting center, Travis Frederick, all season.
The Cowboys and the Eagles are playing on NBC.
Stay tuned for more Zack Matin injury updates.