The Dallas Cowboys did something that was unexpected to a lot of people. With two of the team's targets, Anthony Barr and Aaron Donald, off the board, the team went with a player that is not one that generates a lot of buzz, but that could turn out to be a very, very smart move. Zack Martin, OT from Notre Dame, will come in and likely start his career as a guard, but could be the eventual replacement for Doug Free at RT.
It is hard to think of how many bits of "conventional wisdom" this shatters. Dallas did not go defensive line, which many pundits insisted they "had" to do in the first. Jerry Jones did not overrule his staff and take Johnny Manziel, which many others were certain he would do in this situation. The team now has used three out of the last four first round picks on offensive linemen, which is something many said they would never do before they started this run with Tyron Smith. Dallas stayed at 16 and got what is likely the highest ranked player remaining on their board.
Based on the live feed from the Dallas War Room, it did look like Stephen Jones was trying to find a partner to trade back while Dallas was on the clock, but couldn't, at one point slamming the phone down with what looked to be a bit of anger. But apparently the Cowboys could not find a deal they liked, and the call was made.
If you have followed us here at Blogging The Boys, you know that Martin was seen as a possibility for some time leading up to the draft. In the BTB post-free agency seven round mock draft, three of us went with Martin in the first round, because we figured Barr and Donald were not going to make it to 16. This is a pick that I think shows that the Dallas brain trust is now in very good hands, making smart, rational decisions and not shooting from the hip. I think this signals that this is the age of Will McClay and Stephen Jones. As the feed from DallasCowboys.com stated, the Cowboys went with substance over style.
What do you think? How do you grade this pick? Are you ready for the Cowboys to be run by adults?