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Cowboys news: Zack Martin’s return instantly improves the Dallas offense

Catching up with the Cowboys news.

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NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys thrilled about the return of Zack Martin - Charean Williams, PFT

The man is back, and his name is Zack.

The Cowboys offensive coaching staff room erupted Monday after news that Zack Martin had agreed to a reworked contract with the team. The All-Pro guard then received cheers as he ran onto the practice field Tuesday for the first time this training camp.

Who says offensive linemen go unnoticed?

“There were a lot of high-fives and hugs all day and night yesterday once he got in,” Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy said, via Jon Machota of “I think that shows you what he means to us and what he means to our football team, especially the offense.”

The Cowboys’ plan is for Martin to get up to speed in individual drills before advancing to team drills next week when they return home.

“He’s been training, so he just wants to get in his pads and get moving,” McCarthy said. “We’ll see how that goes and maybe do a little more tomorrow. We’re going to be smart with him.”

Eatman: Zack Martin’s return made 3 spots better - Nick Eatman,

Martin instantly makes the whole offense better.

Because when Zack returns to practice for the first time this week and lines up at right guard, you can best believe the right guard position is now appreciably better. Also, say the same for the center and right tackle, too. Now, if we want to get cute here, we can probably make a case for the quarterback, the running back, tight ends, receivers and maybe the other two O-linemen on the left side.

Sure, a player like Zack Martin probably makes the entire offense better. Not disputing that, but for this column’s sake, let’s leave it to the two guys around him. Just like that, Terence Steele’s job will get a little easier at right tackle. Just like that, Tyler Biadasz should have a little more success at center. And we’re talking about two players who are young, up-and-coming and probably getting close to becoming somewhat elite at their own position.

Biadasz made the Pro Bowl last year as an alternate. Steele was having his best season of his career before an ACL injury in December but he’s back now and might one of the next players to sign a multi-year contract.

Flaws, weaknesses for 2023 NFL playoff contenders: 14 teams - Bill Barnwell, ESPN

It’s a pretty good situation when kicker is your biggest concern.

12. Dallas Cowboys

Chances to make the playoffs: 65.1%

Chances to play in the Super Bowl: 13%

Biggest flaw: Kicking

For a team with a loaded roster on offense and defense, the Cowboys have one glaring concern on special teams. It probably isn’t a surprise they let Brett Maher leave this offseason after the veteran missed five of six extra points during the postseason, but it’s a little worrying that they didn’t land on a reliable replacement.

Journeyman kicker Tristan Vizcaino had first crack at the job, but after struggling in camp, he was cut last week. The only kicker on the roster is former Toronto FC draft pick Brandon Aubrey, who was 32-for-37 on field goals and 57-for-59 on extra points during two seasons in the USFL. Aubrey has never attempted a kick in the NFL.

The Cowboys could still add a veteran, especially as players are cut from camp competitions over the next few weeks. Maher didn’t sign with Dallas until mid-August last year and had been enjoying a solid season before he seemed to lose the ability to kick extra points in January. There’s nothing wrong with going with an unknown option at kicker, but in a season in which the Cowboys see themselves as Super Bowl contenders, I’m surprised team owner Jerry Jones hasn’t been more aggressive in pursuing a known quantity.

Ezekiel Elliott will be a ‘good fit’ for Patriots, former coach says - Lauren Campbell, MassLive

Mike McCarthy gives a gracious quote for Zeke and the Pats.

Mike McCarthy coached Ezekiel Elliott for three years, so he’s seen first-hand how the running back can impact the game — which will make Elliott a great fit for the Patriots.

New England signed the 28-year-old to a one-year deal on Monday. Elliott spent the first seven years of his NFL career in Dallas and now will provide some RB depth the Patriots desperately needed.

He’ll do great up there,” McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday. “Play-style alone, I think he’s a really good fit for how they like to play.”

One Cowboys staffer agrees with McCarthy’s sentiment, telling NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero Elliott “fits their playstyle perfectly.”

Elliot, despite not being in his prime anymore, still is a strong pass protector and can score from the red zone. He’ll add some nice depth behind Rhamondre Stevenson and the duo have the possibility to be a dangerous 1-2 punch for the Patriots.

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