Cowboys Guard Zack Martin has been placed on the Reserve-COVID list and will miss Thursday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He will have the unfortunate distinction of being the first NFL player to be ruled out of a game in 2021 due to a positive COVID-19 test.
Third-year guard Connor McGovern should get the start in Martin's absence. Thankfully, left guard Connor Williams was just activated from the list yesterday and will start against Tampa.
Martin was entering 2021 healthy and ready to get back to his perennial All-Pro and Pro Bowl play. His stabilizing presence was going to be important next to Center Tyler Biadasz, who's only in his second season and still developing.
A huge blow in any context, losing Martin could be especially damaging for the Cowboys if Right Tackle La'el Collins continues to have health issues. While his status for Week One hasn't really been questioned yet, Collins has been missing practices with a neck stinger and has a Thursday game looming large.
Dallas could be thin on interior line depth for Thursday with Brandon Knight also on the COVID list. Right now that leaves just 7th-round rookie Matt Farniok as a backup at guard and center.
We'll see how this news about Zack Martin shuffles the roster ahead of the season opener. Hopefully this is just a one-week problem.