After a glimmer of hope that Zack Martin might get through the COVID-19 protocol and play in tomorrow night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the All-Pro guard has now been ruled out. Third-year backup Connor McGovern will get the start against the defending champions.
Martin was placed on the COVID-19 list after a positive test on Saturday. There was a slim chance he could return if symptoms had cleared and with consecutive negative tests, but apparently Zack's progress just didn't meet the guidelines.
Now McGovern will try to fill in for the six-time All-Pro and Pro Bowler. Thankfully, Connor got plenty of experience with eight starts and six other game appearances during the injury-plagued 2020 season.
Those starts in the midst of chaos for the Cowboys. McGovern's playing time started in Week 6, meaning he never played with La'el Collins, Tyron Smith, or Dak Prescott on the field.
So while this isn't his first start, it's arguably Connor's first time with the real Cowboys offense. With all the other starters set to go in Tampa Bay, McGovern will finally get a chance to show what he can do with the 1st-team around him.
Even at his absolute best, Connor McGovern won't be Zack Martin. But hopefully, like Joe Looney at center in 2018, the backup can do enough to help keep the offense competitive and give us a shot at winning the season opener.