Now that free agency has hit, the focus is shifting towards the draft. DallasCowboys.com will feature players who are currently under contract for next season, analyzing their past season and their future prospects.
Today, we continue the series with guard Zack Martin:
What's Been Good: Plenty, as usual. Last year Martin became a six-time Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection. He has received both honors every season since the Cowboys drafted him in the first round back in 2014, and his six Pro Bowls are tied for the second most ever by a Cowboys guard behind Hall of Famer Larry Allen (nine). There's a reason the Cowboys made Martin the highest-paid guard in NFL history two years ago: he's arguably their best pound-for-pound player. Martin allowed only 1.5 sacks in 16 starts last season, and quarterback Dak Prescott posted career highs in passing yardage and touchdown while getting sacked a career-low 23 times.
What's Been Bad: Remarkably durable throughout his career, injuries nagged the 29-year-old Martin from training camp into the season. He missed most of camp with an irritated disk in his back that did not require surgery. He made all 16 starts at right guard, but the back issue and an ankle injury limited his practice work at points during the year. Martin had minor clean-up surgery on his ankle in January and did not play in the Pro Bowl, but he should be ready for offseason work when NFL teams are permitted. The Cowboys need Martin healthy next season, especially with center Travis Frederick retiring.
What's Next: The Cowboys' offensive line will have a different look without Frederick snapping the ball. Before Frederick missed the 2018 season with Guillain-Barre syndrome, Martin couldn't recall playing a single NFL snap without his good friend lined up next to him. That's reality moving forward now that Frederick is stepping away from football. Joe Looney did a solid job at center in 2018 and will be a candidate to start again. No matter who replaces Frederick, Martin will have added responsibility as the most experienced interior lineman on the team.