The Dallas Cowboys knew they would have to begin contract extension talks in earnest with a number of their Pro Bowl players in quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs, and linebacker/defensive end Micah Parsons — all of whom have two years or fewer remaining on their current contracts.
However, eight-time Pro Bowl and six-time first-team All-Pro right guard Zack Martin, a team captain, is looking to jump to the front of that line to speak with Jerry and Stephen Jones about a new deal. In fact, Martin did not not report to training camp on Tuesday because of displeasure with his current contract situation and the Cowboys’ reported disinterest in engaging in a restructuring conversation, according to ESPN. This news dropped during Jerry Jones’ press conference to open training camp on Tuesday, according to The Athletic. Despite the contract tension, Jones said, according to NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth, that Martin is “in our plans.”
“I don’t want to get into what we are doing here or not doing, I just want to say that he [Martin] is in our plans,” Jones said Tuesday. “And I don’t want to diminish anything here about his not being here today or not being here today… it’s just something we don’t need to discuss and I don’t need to discuss for the benefit of all of us.”
A significant reason for Martin making his unhappiness public is because of the Cowboys’ reported “lack of interest” in re-doing his contract, which has two years remaining on the six-year, $84 million deal he signed back in 2018. He’s set to make $13.5 million in 2023, $7 million fewer than Atlanta Falcons one-time Pro Pro Bowl guard Chris Lindstrom on his five-year, $105.2 million extension he signed this offseason, which reset the guard market. Martin also doesn’t have any guaranteed money remaining on his current contract.
Martin and the Cowboys front office had a short, initial dialogue about his contract at the NFL Scouting Combine back in February, per ESPN.
The 32-year-old Martin has earned Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors in eight of his nine NFL seasons. He’s also been a picture of health, missing just nine games combined since entering the league in 2014. After consecutive first-team All-Pro nods in 2021 and 2022, Martin’s six career selections are tied for the third-most all-time for a guard in league history, trailing only the seven earned by a couple of Hall of Famers in Randall McDaniel and John Hannah.
Coincidentally, Martin was named a 99 overall player in the upcoming “Madden 24” video game as the NFL’s top guard early Tuesday morning before news of his contract displeasure broke. He is the first guard to receive this honor since former Cowboys guard and Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Allen did back in 2003. The Cowboys are set to report to training camp in Oxnard, California, just six days from now on July 25.
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