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Cowboys news: Zack Martin moved to IR potentially ending his season

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Washington Football Team v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Zack Martin Headed to IR; Season Could Be Over? - Nick Eatman, DallasCowboys.com

Zack Martin was doing everything he could to help the Cowboys offense. Now, the rest of his season is in jeopardy

Martin has already been ruled out of the Ravens game with a calf injury. But now, being on this list will keep him out of the next two games, and perhaps the rest of the season.

Depending on how he recovers from the calf injury he sustained early in the Washington game on Thanksgiving, Martin could just be left on IR for the rest of the season. Obviously, the Cowboys’ chances of making the playoffs and winning the NFC East could determine what they do with Martin.

Martin, a six-time Pro Bowl guard, started the previous two games at right tackle. Now he’s headed to IR. And that’s after the original starting tackles - Tyron Smith and La’el Collins - have both spent most of the season on IR as well.

For Martin, this latest injury could affect his chances of making his seventh straight Pro Bowl. Martin is the only offensive player in franchise history to make the Pro Bowl in each of his first six seasons, and only the second player overall along with Mel Renfro.

Martin has still been dominant on the field this year, and even showed a level of versatility we haven’t seen in his career. Martin kicked out to right tackle twice this season, and even started a game in Minnesota where he allowed no pressures in a win over the Vikings.

He was looking to build on that performance just four days later vs. Washington when he suffered the calf injury on the first drive of the game.

Dallas Cowboys’ Playoff Chances Dwindle If They Can’t Upset Baltimore Ravens - Anthony Riccobono, International Business Times

The Cowboys’ playoff chances have been all but gone for a while now, but Tuesday could be the nail in the coffin.

Being a heavy underdog doesn’t preclude the Cowboys from winning. On Sunday, the New York Giants had arguably the most improbable victory of the 2020 season as a double-digit underdog.

With backup quarterback Colt McCoy under center, New York stunned the Seattle Seahawks with a 17-12 road victory. The Giants improved to 5-7 to maintain their spot atop the NFC East.

The Cowboys are running out of chances to make up ground in the standings. Dallas has only four games left on its schedule after Tuesday’s matchup with Baltimore.

Dallas will visit the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14 and host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15. A Week 16 matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles and a Week 17 game against the Giants will be must-win situations.

The Washington Football Team is ahead of Dallas in the NFC East and has already swept its season series with the Cowboys.

Entering the season with Super Bowl aspirations, Dallas might be the league’s biggest disappointment. A bad defense and key injuries have derailed the Cowboys’ championship hopes. Four different quarterbacks have started for Dallas.

Dallas Cowboys Make Several Roster Moves Due to Injury​ - John Williams, Inside The Star

The Cowboys will have to reach down on their roster to fill for injury.

A summary of the moves.

• Safety Donovan Wilson downgraded to Out.

• Cornerback Anthony Brown downgraded to Out.

• Guard/Tackle Zack Martin (calf) placed on the Reserved/Injured List.

• Safety Steven Parker (ankle) place on the Reserved/Injured List.

• Cornerback Deante Burton signed from the practice squad.

• Cornerback Rashard Robinson signed from the practice squad.

There’s a lot of moving parts here, but the big losses for Tuesday’s game are Donovan Wilson and Anthony Brown. Wilson had been the Cowboys best safety over the last several weeks, making plays on the football and forcing turnovers in the process. Brown, who has been up and down this season, remains a vital piece to the secondary and the loss of his experience in the secondary will be noticeable.

Steven Parker had been flashing when given the opportunity to play. Obviously Zack Martin is a huge loss as well, but with the way the Cowboys’ season has been going, it was always likely that they were going to be very cautious with Martin given his importance long-term with the Cowboys.

This provides another opportunity for Deante Burton and Rashard Robinson to get significant playing time. One has to wonder if this is the week that fourth-round pick Reggie Robinson II is able to work his way off of the inactive list and get on the field.

2021 NFL salary cap: Cowboys’ looming talks with Dak Prescott could be helped by rumored cap boost - Patrik Walker, CBSSports

There may be more money than expected to sign Dak Prescott and a safety or defensive tackle.

Currently sitting at $27.39 million in cap space, per OverTheCap, the Cowboys themselves will enjoy rollover of whatever they have remaining at the conclusion of 2020 onto the 2021 cap, yes, but they’d land at roughly $47.5 million in space this coming offseason if the cap hops upward to $195 million. Considering a second tag on Prescott would create a $37.7 million placeholder against the existing cushion — buying the Cowboys until July 15 to get a long-term deal done with Prescott — they’d be left with only $9.8 million. That is a positive by virtue of it literally not being a mathematical negative, and it’ll at least give the team a smidge of financial comfort after failing to strike a deal with Prescott in both 2019 and again in 2020, the latter attempt going to the wire and having failed due to a disagreement on the length of the deal.

Of course, if the two sides can strike a deal before the franchise tag deadline in February, all the better — considering the Joneses must also have money in the war chest for free agency spending and to pay the 2021 draft class.

They have all the incentive in the cosmos and then some when it comes to making sure they get Prescott on paper without utilizing a second franchise tag because, if they don’t, they’ll be cash strapped and that would force another round of contract restructures and likely some very uncomfortable conversations about recently signed contracts versus lack of production — e.g., linebacker Jaylon Smith and more. As it stands, those conversations would only be mandatory if the cap stays at $175 million, and still not entirely avoidable if it’s $195 million with Prescott on a second tag.

Dallas Cowboys 7-round 2021 mock draft gives defense a major facelift - Randy Gurzi, NFL Spinzone

Interesting choices coming out of this Cowboys seven-round mock draft.

4

Charles Snowden

EDGE, Cavaliers

With their first of two picks in the fourth round, Dallas decides to get an edge rusher who they can start to groom behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Aldon Smith (assuming they can re-sign Smith). Charles Snowden from Virginia is the pick, and they land him at No. 105 overall.

Snowden is an intriguing player who has great length at 6-7 but is on the thin side at 235 pounds. He was starting to come into his own before breaking his ankle but the sky is still the limit for him. Mike Nolan likes to mix in stand-up pass rushers and Snowden could provide them a player capable of filling that role.

4

Javian Hawkins

RB, Cardinals

With their next pick, No. 136 in Round 4, Dallas throws a curveball as they take Javian Hawkins. The Lousiville running back is a home-run waiting to happen and could be a player to sprinkle in the offense when they need a burst out of the backfield. Sure, the Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard but the offense still hasn’t had many plays from those two where they score from the other side of the field.

Hawkins offers them someone who has the chance to do that — plus, it’s only a matter of time before this coaching regime wants to start taking the ball out of Elliott’s hands more often to keep him fresh (or maybe try and prove to the Jones family they can move on and be just fine).

5

Robert Cooper

DT, Seminoles

With the 174th pick in the fifth round, the Cowboys add a big nose tackle in Robert Cooper. The 332-pound Cooper has been a beast for the Florida State Seminoles. The Cowboys experiment with Dontari Poe was an epic failure but they do have Atwaun Woods who has been playing well. If Woods is re-signed, Cooper can be a rotational player with the ability to start in the near future.

The surprising top five Cowboys players outside the top five - Connor Green, The Landry Hat

A look at some players who have had a good 2020 season.

8. Donovan Wilson, Safety

The Dallas Cowboys season thus far has been an objective disaster. The team has suffered from several high-profile injures and has been plagued with poor play for much of the year. However, the emergence of second-year safety Donovan Wilson has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise disappointing season.

The 25-year old was not even a starter at the outset of this season. Wilson has managed to sneak into the starting lineup due to a combination of injuries and poor play from other players in Dallas’s secondary.

This fact makes it even more impressive that the young defender is currently third on the team in total tackles with 53 and is tied for third in sacks with 2.5. Wilson has demonstrated a remarkable willingness to deliver truly debilitating, but legal, hits. He put this skill on full display in what was arguably his best game of the year against the Minnesota Vikings.

The second-year safety finished the game against the Vikings as an integral part of the teams’ win. He forced two fumbles, recovered one, and set the tone for the organizations’ upset victory with a vicious hit on running back Dalvin Cook.

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