Top 50: Two Seasons, Two All-Pro Selections Place This Guard Among The Elite

(Editor's Note: With the offseason in full swing, the focus is now shifting to the 2016 season, where the Cowboys have one of the toughest schedules in the NFL. Not only do the Cowboys face five playoff teams but many of the top players in football. So the writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys. Today, we continue the list with Cowboys All-Pro guard Zack Martin.)

Name:Zack Martin
Team:Dallas Cowboys
Position:Guard
Height/Weight:6-4/315
Experience:2 seasons
College:Notre Dame

2015 with Cowboys:After missing part of training camp with a neck stinger, Martin started all 16 games at right guard for the second straight year and became the sixth player in Cowboys history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first two seasons.

What's the Deal:Although Martin primarily played offensive tackle in college, the 2014 first-round pick has proved to be a perfect fit at guard in the Cowboys' scheme. According to Pro Football Focus, Martin has allowed only two sacks in two seasons as an NFL starter. He's already a cornerstone player on offense and one of three offensive linemen with multiple Pro Bowl selections, joining left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick.

Expect This:Martin will settle right back into his starting role at right guard, though he's versatile enough to be an emergency fill-in at both tackle spots and possibly even center if ever needed. Expectations become sky-high for a player with the accolades he's garnered in only two NFL seasons, but the 25-year-old is always seeking ways to improve and sharpen his technique. In 2016 he'll look to reduce the eight penalties he got called for last season.

Bryan Broaddus Scouting Report:

  • Highly intelligent player. Mentally and physically tough. Plays the game beyond his years. Is mature and grounded in his approach. Martin is everything you want in an offensive lineman.
  • Outstanding at keeping the front of the pocket clean. Doesn't get knocked back or compressed. Is able to hold his ground no matter how powerful the opponent might be. Good ability to sink his hips and anchor down. Plays with upper body power and strength.
  • His grip is outstanding, as it's rare that you see him lose a man on sustain. Biggest question was his length and how he would be able to compensate for that but has managed to work in a way that has not been an issue.
  • One of the better guards in the league when it comes to balance and recovery. Not often that you see him out of position on a block, run or pass. Has rubber like ability to snap back into place if he is put in those situations. Does a nice job of playing on the move.
  • Since 2014, he has improved his awareness of what was happening to him during the play. There were snaps his rookie season where he didn't look as comfortable on twist stunts and games, but he was much better handling this in 2015. He shows the ability to pull and play in space.
  • Not the type that is going to flop around on the ground. Stays on his feet and with his blocks. There's no question Martin is the best finisher of all the Cowboys offensive linemen. He shows the ability to play beyond the echo of the whistle.
  • Is as tough as they come in dealing with and playing through injuries. Not coming out of the lineup. Two-time Pro Bowl right guard.
  • I could see him work more in the offseason at center just in case he needs to fill in. He has been seeing snaps during the season on the scout team working this way.
  • Rock solid in the way he plays and approaches the game. Coachable in all areas of his game. Takes what is taught and is able to apply it to his job quickly. 

The writers of DallasCowboys.com have ranked the Top 50 players expected to be on the field this season, including the Cowboys.

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