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Mailbag: Does Martin's status bring pressure?


With Zack Martin admitting that this could possibly be his last season before retiring, does that put a lot more pressure on the team to make a run at a Super Bowl this year? If he were to retire after the season, I can't see the Cowboys being better on the offensive line than they are right now. – Mark Somma/Winchester, VA

Nick Eatman: I don't know if the Martin situation adds any more pressure to an already pressurized season. It seems like there are a lot of players in this boat and you can add coaches as well. I think we all know that the window appears to be closing for this team to have great success. There's just too many coaches and players on the last year of their contract with big-time dead money to hit next year's cap. If we thought the Cowboys were in cap trouble this year, just wait until next season. But the Cowboys still have a very talented roster this year, and it's one that I believe is good enough for them to compete for everything they want. And that includes Zack Martin, too. But I do not think his recent comments about the end being sooner than later changes the overall pressure for this team. It's already as high as it can get.

Kurt: In some ways, this shouldn't come as any big surprise. I mean, Martin is entering his 11th season and will turn 34 in November. Considering the average career lasts 3.3 years and the average age of retirement is around 27 years old, Martin is nearing senior citizen status in NFL terms. So sure, he's bound to be considering it. Then again, what's the old saying? If you're thinking about retirement, you're already retired? By no means do I think Martin is at that point. He's too much of a competitor and still among the league's best. But the Cowboys certainly have to be planning for life without the future Hall of Famer. Now, does that create more pressure this season? Not necessarily. Great players depart nearly every year and new ones arrive. For every Tyron Smith who steps out, a Tyler Guyton steps in (we hope). It's the cycle of NFL life, and the pressure is always there to win regardless. Just look at those who have suited up for the Cowboys over the last three decades who left the game without a ring. Was there any more pressure on the team as a whole as those individual careers were coming to a close? Likely not. Let's just hope things change this time around and Martin can go out with the true storybook ending he deserves – raising the Lombardi Trophy.

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