The news many of us have expected, and some of us feared would never happen, finally arrived, with the Cowboys set to make Zack Martin the highest-paid guard in NFL history, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
The Dallas Cowboys have locked down offensive guard Zack Martin by signing him to a six-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid guard in NFL history, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
He will also reportedly have the largest guaranteed salary for his position.
Andrew Norwell previously held these records after signing a $66.5 million deal over five years with the Jacksonville Jaguars in March, featuring $30 million in guarantees. However, it appears the Cowboys have surpassed these numbers.
Hill has more insights into how Martin’s signing fits in with the Cowboys’ overall approach to roster-building.
Martin has started all 64 games of his career and is considered a foundational piece for years to come.
His signing allows the Cowboys to keep their triumvirate of first-round picks and perennial Pro Bowls in Smith and center Travis Frederick together opening holes for quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Both Smith and Frederick are signed through 2023.
Martin’s deal should lower his cap figure for 2018 and also pave the way for a possible deal for safety Earl Thomas if the Cowboys can finally acquire him in a trade from the Seattle Seahawks.
Each season, while most are obsessing over every action or inaction associated with OTA’s, The Athletic’s Bob Sturm goes to the tape to review every play where a Cowboys quarterback ended up being sacked and assigns responsibility. In this session, he looks at sacks 1-9 (of 32). La’el Collins ended up being the focus of much attention in this film session and Sturm has some thoughts on that.
Above, witness the work of #91-Kerrigan using the long-arm technique to walk Collins right back into Prescott. This is another example of why offensive tackles can’t be slow to get a punch on their man. Look at Tyron initiate contact on the other side. If you let Kerrigan, Khalil Mack, or any of these long-armed rushers get to you with that inside jack move, you had better make a recovery plan. Otherwise, you are falling right into your QB. Prescott never had a chance here to get the ball out because the design was all to the right and Collins was destroyed.
I want to say one thing about Collins – you are seeing his first part of the season. His performance (unlike the rest of the offense) improved quite a bit as the season went along. By the end of the year, it appeared that he was catching on as a right tackle. You are actually watching a man get educated against some of the league’s finest rushers.
Broaddus continues his series looking at the best opponent’s facing the Cowboys in 2018. Here he looks at Eagles’ right tackle Lane Johnson.
2018 Outlook: If not for a 10-game suspension in 2016, Johnson would likely be even more established among the best tackles in the league. He made his first Pro Bowl during the Eagles’ run to the Super Bowl last year, and he figures to be established in Philadelphia for some time, given that he signed a six-year extension in 2016. If his career trajectory is any indicator, Johnson – who is just 28 – should continue to thrive on the Eagles’ line for the foreseeable future.
With the entire running back group under the age of 25, Elliott is in position to assume a bigger leadership role on the Cowboys.
Meanwhile, the running back should also have plenty of opportunities to lead by example with deeds on the football field.
With Witten and Bryant absent from the offense, the Cowboys are likely to lean on an energized Elliott, who produced 983 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in 2017 despite serving a six-game suspension.
”With what happened last year with the whole suspension and everything, I think he felt as though he didn’t accomplish anything,” Brown said, via the Dallas Morning news. “But he did accomplish some things. Hopefully, he doesn’t put too much pressure on himself. If he doesn’t, I think we’ll have a great Zeke.”
Should Elliott fully absorb his role as a leader on and off the field, he would be more than primed to return to his rookie season form where he exploded for 1,994 total yards (1,631 rushing) and 16 touchdowns en route to a first-team All-Pro selection.
Engel is prone to clicktastic hyperbole but has an interesting take on the David Irving situation.
Irving has never been able to shake these sorts of “distraction tales” that NFL teams eventually grow sick of and dump the players associated with them.
Despite his immense talent, he was kicked out of Iowa State for a reason.
Despite his immense talent, he went undrafted for a reason.
Despite his immense talent, the Kansas City Chiefs put him on the practice squad rather than the active roster in 2015 for a reason.
Despite his immense talent, and now proven NFL production, the Dallas Cowboys agreed to only a one year, $2.91 million deal with him for a reason.
As a restricted free agent, he was given a second-round tender.
He’s only 24, and in eight games last season he had seven sacks. He had to serve a four-game suspension last season for violating the league’s ban on PEDs. He also had a variety of injuries, including a concussion.
The Cowboys are looking for any reason to give him a monster extension, but every time they want to do that something happens that makes them pause.
Credit the Cowboys' front-office with the foresight to negotiate a draft-day trade for defensive tackle Jihad Ward.
Following the foot injury suffered by starting defensive tackle Maliek Collins, the Ward trade has looked like excellent foresight by the Cowboys’ front office. With Tyrone Crawford slimming down for full-time duty at defensive end, one of Dallas’ defensive tackle spots appears to be Ward’s to lose.
And with Ward’s [sic] being a second-round pick just two years ago, his ceiling is certainly higher than some of the other defensive line products the Cowboys have brought in thus far.
Report: Randy Gregory will meet with NFL officials this week regarding potential reinstatement - RJ Ochoa, Blogging The Boys
Fingers crossed for a Randy Gregory return.
Randy applied for reinstatement earlier this offseason, and it seems that we are advancing (at least in a logistical sense) along in that process. Gregory tweeted late Monday night that he was in New York, and ESPN’s Todd Archer corroborated that he was there for NFL business with a follow up.
Archer notes that Randy could potentially meet with Roger Goodell. Cowboys fans no doubt have a sour taste when it comes to the commissioner’s handling of suspensions regarding Dallas players, but Randy is in good hands.
Want some additional Randy Gregory optimism?— Bobby Belt (@BobbyBeltTX) May 10, 2018
Gregory's reinstatement efforts are being led by attorney Daniel Moskowitz, who successfully led Daryl Washington's reinstatement last summer. There was a time where Washington was considered a greater long shot than Gregory ever was.
Gut Feeling: 6 Intriguing Minicamp Topics - DallasCowboys.com Staff
With minicamp starting today, check out all the positions/players the DallasCowboys.com staff will be paying close attention to. Here's who Rob Phillips has his eyes on:
Rob Phillips: I’ll be watching two young players who stood out in the OTAs: defensive lineman Jihad Ward and tight end Blake Jarwin. The Cowboys thought enough of Jarwin last year to sign him off the practice squad even though they didn’t have a defined role for the undrafted rookie. This spring, he’s already shown the ability to get down the field and make catches. Ward, who arrived in the Ryan Switzer trade, has a chiseled 295-pound frame. He got extra reps inside at tackle with David Irving sitting out OTAs. So far, Ward seems to fit the Rod Marinelli mold for a tackle: quickness and up-the-field movement. The media only watched one OTA per week, so it’ll be interesting to see what type of consistency we see from these two over three consecutive days.
3 things to watch for in Cowboys minicamp - Kate Hairopoulos, SportsDay
All eyes will be on Dak Prescott as he tries to connect with a bunch of new receivers, and Hairopoulos makes this her final point in her minicamp preview.
With the departures of longtime No. 1 receiver Dez Bryant and Witten, the third-year QB and his new receivers are still figuring each other out. Prescott and Hurns had a memorable connection during OTAs that could be the start of something good. Returning players such as Cole Beasley need to rebound from a decline in 2017.
"I like the young guys and what they're doing," Prescott said. "The new guys we've got, they've all shown different abilities and their versatility. Just being in the right place, running crisp routes. All their routes are looking the same, and that's a credit to Coach Sanjay."
And the tight ends?
"Obviously you've got to step up when eight-two [Witten] left," Prescott said. "We've had some guys who've done that. [Geoff] Swaim's taken it upon himself to get better. ... Blake Jarwin is guy I think will surprise a lot of us. He's been coming around, playing really well."