FRISCO, Texas — There was a bit of a carousel going through The Star earlier this offseason with Mike McCarthy's staff, as the offensive side of the ball saw a minor shake-up with who will be leading the team from a coaching perspective in 2023.
One of the additions includes offensive line coach Mike Solari, who has been coaching in the NFL for 35 years which started with his first stint with the Cowboys in 1987-88, spending two years on the final two seasons with Tom Landry as head coach. Solari was an assistant offensive line coach and special teams coach for those two seasons. Since then, he's been to six different teams, including the Packers for a season under Mike McCarthy.
Eight-time all-pro offensive lineman Zack Martin has already been able to bond early on with Solari as he sees a different type of energy being brought to the room in 2023 with bubbling excitement to finally hit the field later this summer.
"He's been great," Martin said. "A lot of energy. His resume speaks for itself, he's coached a lot of good lines. I think the biggest thing is bringing that edge back to our offensive line and I think he's gonna be a big part of that. It's been a great first month or so with him and I can't wait to get to practice with him."
The offensive line has been a position group with a lot of focus this offseason with the departure of Connor McGovern, the addition of Solari, the drafting of Asim Richards and the increasing expectations of what Tyler Smith will be able to accomplish in his second season.
"I think Year 2 is a big year … you gotta make that jump," Martin said about Smith. "He did a lot of good things last year, but no one is gonna be surprised by him this year. Everybody is gonna be ready for him. It's up to him to put the work in and take that next step forward in his game."
As for that next step, Martin is excited to see what new element he can bring to the offensive line in 2023 considering he has only brought positive change to the position group since his arrival.
"I know he'll do that because ever since he's gotten here, that's what he's shown," he said. "He works at it and he cares about it. I'm looking forward to seeing him play, the guy has an incredible ceiling. Hopefully we can help him get there."