Speaking of offensive talent, the Cowboys clearly passed on someone with mad offensive skills when they chose not to draft Johnny Manziel in the first round of this year’s draft. That said, Notre Dame tackle-turned-guard Zack Martin is no slouch.
In fact, he’s looking as good as any of the Cowboys’ offensive linemen, and far more veteran than his 23 years might show. Martin has drawn early comparisons to New England stalwart Logan Mankins, who was drafted by New England in the first round of the 2005 draft. Mankins has anchored the Patriots’ front line consistently since he was drafted, and the Cowboys would be thrilled if Martin performed similarly.
Dallas has been criticized for its last two first-round picks – Martin and center Travis Frederick. However, Frederick played like a tough and savvy veteran – especially after looking very much like a rookie against Kansas City in his second ever pro regular season game, and increasingly so each game thereafter. Martin looks every bit the same, causing some Valley Ranch sources to claim that he actually looks better at this point in his career than Tyron Smith did during his rookie training camp
Let’s just say that – at least based on the early returns – you’d be hard pressed to find a team with a better offensive line threesome than Frederick, Smith, and Martin. That’s a heck of a way to build an offense, and that makes the decision to pass on Johnny Football quite easy to defend, no matter how well Manziel ends up playing in Cleveland.