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Offseason | 2024

Zack Martin: 'Definitely getting closer to the end'


FRISCO, Texas – When it's all said and done, Zack Martin will undoubtedly be considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in Cowboys history.

And according to him, the "done" part could be sooner than later.

Speaking to reporters this week in the locker room during the minicamp, Martin said the thought of retiring after this season is something he has thought about as he enters the 2024 season, his 11th of his career.

"I think I'd be lying if I said it has not entered my mind, right?" Martin said. "I think that's been a big thing for me this year, just try to tell myself, 'Hey, go out, do your thing and let anything else take care of itself after the season.' I don't know when I'll be done, but it's definitely getting closer to the end."

Martin is 33 years old and is in the final year of his contract. Last year, he held out most of camp before a new contract was worked, guaranteeing his salary for last year and this year. He also reworked his deal this year, saving the team more than $13 million but it puts him in a situation where the 2024 season could be his last. But it's that mindset that Martin said actually helps him prepare this offseason.

"I think it's just a good reminder for myself to stay in the present and take advantage of this year."

This will be a season of change for Martin, who has played with left tackle Tyron Smith his entire career. Smith signed with the Jets in free agency back in March. Also, center Tyler Biadasz signed with Washington, meaning the Cowboys will definitely have a new left tackle and center on the O-line that Martin will lead this year.

A nine-time Pro Bowler and seven-time All-Pro, Martin is arguably the second-best guard in team history, only behind Larry Allen, who tragically passed away earlier this week.

One thing that has carried Martin throughout his career has been longevity, since he's missed just 11 games, including six in the 2020 season – the only year he's missed the Pro Bowl.

"Yeah, I haven't had big injuries, but just the wear and tear," Martin said. "And then I think the big thing is … and I'm definitely still here, which is why I'm back this year. You have to be all-in on this thing. You've got to be locked in. You've got to be obsessed with it. I think when that feeling starts to fade a little bit, then it's probably time to go and do something else."

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