Zack Martin

Cowboys Optimistic Travis Frederick’s Setback Not Season-Ending

Travis Frederick‘s become one of this generation’s best centers, but he’s encountered a rare obstacle in the form of an auto-immune disease. The All-Pro Cowboys blocker revealed the diagnosis on Wednesday and is out indefinitely.

The Cowboys are pleased Frederick finally received a diagnosis for what’s been bothering him this month, Guillain-Barre disease, and Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the team is optimistic this is not a season- or career-ending setback.

We were really so happy when it was diagnosed that this was the problem,” Jerry Jones said, via Hill. “He and we were concerned about that when we couldn’t get a diagnosis. The biggest thing we have been worried is his health, his long-term health, his individual well being as opposed to how it impacted us as a team or impacts him as a player but his well being is the most important thing.

“As it relates to football, I don’t have any definitive thing to talk about there.”

Frederick has begun taking medicine for this condition already, but he has no timetable for a return. A previous diagnosis revealed Frederick didn’t have Guillain-Barre, the sixth-year lineman merely needing rest. But once symptoms — centered around neck stingers — persisted and the accurate diagnosis emerged, per Hill.

Joe Looney has stepped in for Frederick at center. Looney’s in his third season with the Cowboys and has previously served as an interior-line backup. The Cowboys rely on their three-pronged force of 27-year-old linemen — Frederick, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith — but for the time being, Looney, also 27, will have to play with the starters. Looney made three starts last season and played in all 16 Dallas games. Hill adds Martin is an emergency option at center.

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NFC East Notes: Giants, Scandrick, Cowboys

The Giants expressed interest in cornerback Orlando Scandrick when he was released by the Redskins last week, but he landed with the Chiefs before New York could arrange a visit, tweets Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com. New York is set at outside corner, where Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple will start, but could still use help at slot, which is where Scandrick has experienced the most success. At present, veterans William Gay and Leonard Johnson are the leading candidates to play inside for the Giants, but given their interest in Scandrick, it stands to reason Big Blue could consider further additions — either via the free agent or trade market, or through a waiver claim — in the coming weeks.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Zack Martin went down on Saturday night during the Cowboys‘ second preseason game, but the news is expected to be positive for the All-Pro guard. Martin likely suffered a hyper-extended left knee, per Todd Archer of ESPN.com, who adds Martin is expected to undergo an MRI on Sunday. Speaking to reporters last night, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Martin’s knee issue was not expected to be “problematic,” according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk. However, given his injury, Dallas could hold out Martin from game action until the regular season begins.
  • While Martin is likely to escape a serious injury, Cowboys safety Jameill Showers wasn’t so lucky. Showers is believed to have suffered a torn ACL, tweets Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News, and will have an MRI on Sunday to confirm. After entering the league as a quarterback in 2015, Showers transferred to defensive back, and has spent much of the past three seasons on Dallas’ practice squad. While he was far from a roster lock, Showers’ injury will further deplete the Cowboys’ defensive depth.
  • The Cowboys need to add another receiver, opines Calvin Watkins of The Athletic (Twitter link). Dallas added free agent Allen Hurns and draft pick Michael Gallup to its receiving corps this offseason, but the position group as a whole hasn’t been overly impressive through two preseason games. While Watkins points to back-of-the-roster pass-catchers such as Noah Brown and Deonte Thompson as candidates for increased playing time, the Cowboys could conceivably look at free agents including Jeremy Maclin, Dontrelle Inman, or Brandon Coleman.

Details On Zack Martin’s New Deal

The Cowboys and Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin finalized the terms of his new contract on Wednesday, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. As previously reported, it’s a six-year deal that will keep him in the fold through 2024. The new portion of the contract is worth a whopping $84MM with $40MM guaranteed. 

The new pact makes Martin the new highest-paid guard in the NFL as his $14MM/year tops Andrew Norwell‘s $13.3MM annual average value. Among offensive linemen, only Giants tackle Nate Solder has a higher per year average at $15.5MM. It’s a sign that the guard market is nipping at the heels of the tackle market and also an indication of just how valuable Martin is Dallas’ front five. His total guarantee is also the highest of any guard in the NFL.

Martin’s streak of 64 consecutive starts is the longest active streak by a guard in the entire league. Martin is also one of just four offensive linemen earn Pro Bowl selections in each of their first four NFL seasons since 1970 (Twitter link via ESPN).

The Cowboys have their excellent O-Line locked up for the foreseeable future. Martin is signed through 2024, left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick are under contract through through 2023, and right tackle La’el Collins is signed through 2019.

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Cowboys, Zack Martin Agree To Deal

Cowboys guard Zack Martin has secured a brand new deal, and it’s a whopper of a contract. The new pact is a six-year extension that will make him the highest-paid guard in the NFL with the largest guarantee of any guard in league history, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets

[RELATED: Latest On Earl Thomas, Cowboys]

We’re still waiting on the exact terms, but this means that Martin has surpassed new Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell with more than $13.3MM in average annual compensation. Martin has also bested Norwell’s $30MM in full guarantees at signing.

“We think he’s one of the best offensive linemen in the league,” Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said recently“Certainly we think the best offensive guard in the league (and) should be paid accordingly.”

With a new deal in hand, the Cowboys can expect Martin to show for work on Tuesday when the team’s minicamp gets underway. They’ll also enter the 2019 offseason without fear of losing Martin to another team on the open market.

The Cowboys have the key pieces of their world-class offensive line locked up for years to come. Martin is signed through 2024, left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick are under contract through through 2023, and right tackle La’el Collins is signed through 2019.

The next order of business for the Cowboys could be to work on a new multi-year deal for edge rusher DeMarcus Lawrence. However, Lawrence says he is willing to play on the one-year tag in order to cash in on the 2019 free agency market.

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Cowboys, Zack Martin Nearing Extension

[UPDATE – Martin and the Cowboys reached agreement on a record-breaking extension]

It appears a new deal for Cowboys guard Zack Martin is on the horizon. Speaking at the team’s rookie luncheon, Cowboys VP Stephen Jones insinuated that the club is on the one-yard line in talks. 

It’s awfully close. I hope he’ll be out at (minicamp) tomorrow,” Jones said (Twitter link via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News).

A new deal for Martin should place him among the league’s highest paid guards, or possibly make him the highest-paid guard in the league. Martin, who has made the Pro Bowl in each of his four NFL seasons, may top new Jaguars guard Andrew Norwell‘s five-year, $66.5MM deal to make him the kingpin of interior linemen. Even if he falls short in total value, it’s hard to imagine that Martin’s average annual value will be much less than Norwell’s $13.3MM per year.

For now, the 27-year-old (28 in November) is on the books for $9.341MM, per the terms of his fifth-year option. If Martin does not sign an extension and turns in another outstanding season, he’ll be in line for a bidding war on the open market next year. That’s a risk the Cowboys are not interested in taking, particularly with DeMarcus Lawrence in a similar position.

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Latest on Cowboys, Zack Martin

Although no deal is done, the Cowboys and All-Pro guard Zack Martin appear to be inching closer to an extension. Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones spoke to the media recently and offered some details on the negotiations with Martin’s camp.

Jones revealed that he’s met with Martin’s agent, Tom Condon, within the last two weeks. While he said there’s no timeframe for a deal, he’s confident one will get done.

“We think he’s one of the best offensive linemen in the league,” said Jones (via ESPN’s Todd Archer). “Certainly we think the best offensive guard in the league (and) should be paid accordingly.”

Jones added that the holdup was just a “matter of structures.” In the meantime, while there remains no deal, Martin continues to be absent from OTAs.

Jones’ assertion that Martin is the best guard in the league and should be paid “accordingly” seems to suggest Martin will receive more than Andrew Norwell, the league’s highest paid guard. Norwell signed a five-year $66.5MM contract with the Jaguars back in March. His $13.3MM annual salary was the highest ever for a guard, but that might not last for much longer. Martin, who has anchored the Cowboys’ dominant offensive line the past several seasons, should reset the market for interior offensive linemen.

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Cowboys Expect Zack Martin Extension This Offseason

The Cowboys and Zack Martin have been circling each other for a while now, and the All-Pro guard decided to skip OTAs this week. However, Albert Breer of SI.com notes this doesn’t appear to be a contentious absence, adding the Cowboys expect to have this deal done before the regular season. This promises to be an eye-opening agreement.

Dallas expects to pay Martin at least $13MM per year. While only five linemen earn that, one of them is a guard. And as good as Andrew Norwell has been, Martin’s a more accomplished player with four Pro Bowls and two first-team All-Pro distinctions on his resume.

So, it’s likely Martin’s deal will come in north of Norwell’s $13.3MM-per-year pact and set the market for guards, with Breer pointing out teams aren’t going to see 2018 deals for Norwell and Nate Solder as outlier pacts based on free agency but instead will view them as the norm in a changing marketplace. Quality linemen are simply more valuable now since these particular skills are much harder to acquire out of college.

The Cowboys view Martin as the game’s premier pass-protecting guard and a player who is close to the top in clearing run lanes, per Breer, so they’re eager to ensure he’s under contract well into the 2020s.

Martin, 27, is on Dallas’ books for $9.341MM because of his fifth-year option, and the Cowboys already have a significant negotiation to finish with Demarcus Lawrence. While Lawrence said he would be fine playing on the franchise tag, that is affecting the Cowboys’ books. The defensive end’s cap hold sits at $17.143MM — second-highest on the team behind Tyron Smith.

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Cowboys’ Martin May Not Show For OTAs

Guard Zack Martin was not present for the Cowboys’ first round of organized team activities on Tuesday and it’s not clear if he will take part in any of them, ESPN.com’s Todd Archer tweets. OTAs are voluntary, but it’s a sign that Martin is likely waiting things out as his reps discuss a new contract with the team. 

The Cowboys and Martin’s agents have been in talks regarding a long-term deal over the last few weeks, Archer hears, but he’s not necessarily on bad terms with the club. Martin has been at The Star working out since the captains’ sessions started almost a month before the official start of the offseason program, so Martin’s absence is less about discord with Cowboys brass and more about properly protecting himself while he waits for the multi-year deal he’s after.

We’ve had really good conversations about this,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Wednesday. “I know there’s ongoing dialogue between him and his representatives and the Joneses about getting his contract done. He’s one of the best players we have. He represents everything we want, but there is a business side to this that both sides are working toward.”

Martin has earned a Pro Bowl nod in each of his four NFL seasons and two First-Team All-Pro selections. In 2017, he rated as the best guard in the entire NFL according to Pro Football Focus. He was among the league’s top interior linemen from 2014-2016 and but he set a new personal best in terms of the advanced metrics with an excellent 92.2 overall score.

If the Cowboys and Martin can agree to a new deal, it is expected to top the five-year, $60MM deal (with $31.5MM guaranteed) that Kevin Zeitler signed with the Browns as a free agent last year. If they cannot come to terms, then Martin will play out his fifth-year option for 2018 worth $9.3MM. After that, the Cowboys can use the franchise tag to control Martin through 2019, but it would cost them upwards of $14MM.

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Cowboys, Zack Martin To Discuss Extension

The Cowboys and right guard Zack Martin will take another stab at extension talks this offseason, as ESPN.com’s Todd Archer writes. This time around, the two sides will get down to business much sooner in the offseason, according to a source. Zack Martin (Vertical)

Last year, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that a new long-term deal for Martin was his top priority. That’s the case once again this year and, with any luck, something will come together before the start of free agency in March. If the Cowboys have Martin’s contract accounted for, they’ll have a better idea of how much money they can spend in the open market.

Martin has earned a Pro Bowl nod in each of his four NFL seasons, including two First-Team All-Pro selections. This season, he rates as the second-best guard in the entire NFL according to Pro Football Focus, second only to Steelers standout David DeCastro. Although he has been among the league’s very best interior linemen since 2014, his 90.5 overall score is a career-high.

If the Cowboys and Martin can agree to a new deal, it is expected to top the five-year, $60MM deal (with $31.5MM guaranteed) that Kevin Zeitler signed with the Browns as a free agent last year. If they cannot come to terms, then Martin will play out his fifth-year option for 2018 worth $9.3MM.

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East Rumors: McDaniels, Bridgewater, Martin

Ben Volin of the Boston Globe and Phil Perry and Mike Giardi of NBCSports.com take a look at some of the potential landing spots for Patriots OC Josh McDaniels should he depart New England for a head coaching gig this offseason. The NBC scribes suggest that some of the coaching opportunities may not be as desirable as they were earlier this season — given the increased concerns over Andrew Luck‘s shoulder and the mess that the Giants recently made of their quarterback situation — but both pieces suggest that now might be as good a time as any for McDaniels to make his second run as a head coach (and for director of player personnel Nick Caserio, who is typically marketed along with McDaniels, to get his first crack at a GM job).

Now for more rumors from the league’s east divisions:

  • In the same piece linked above, Perry and Giardi suggest that Patriots corner Malcolm Butler — whose play has suffered this year and who has generally been a “pain in the butt” — foreclosed any chance of a return to New England in 2018 when he retweeted a Pro Football Focus graphic showing Dolphins QB Jay Cutler‘s success against the Patriots’ blitzes in the aftermath of the Pats’ loss to Miami last week.
  • The Jets have been frequently connected to impending free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins and to some of this year’s top collegiate signal-callers (i.e. Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen), but Manisha Mehta of the New York Daily News suggests that current Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater could also be in play for Gang Green. After all, Bridgewater — who will also be a free agent at season’s end — is younger than current Jets starter Bryce Petty, he could be had for a reasonable multi-year deal, and he managed to win in Minnesota without much of a supporting cast. This is just an opinion piece, but as Mehta suggests, a Bridgewater signing could be a low-risk, high-reward move that would not necessarily preclude the cash-flush Jets from also pursuing a QB in the first round of the draft.
  • The Cowboys and guard Zack Martin were deep in extension talks over the summer, but they could not get a deal done before the unofficial late August deadline that the two sides set for themselves. However, they are expected to revisit those discussions this offseason, as Martin is only under club control through the 2018 campaign (via the fifth-year option of his rookie contract). Hardik Sanghavi of OverTheCap.com looks at Martin’s case in excellent detail and projects a six-year, $84.6MM deal for the Notre Dame product.
  • James Kratch of NJ.com says the Giants‘ handling of Davis Webb makes no sense, and that New York should start the rookie quarterback over the last few games of the season. After all, if he plays poorly, it won’t ruin his career, and the 2-11 Giants actually stand to benefit from losing out. If he plays well, obviously that would be good for the team, and even though the talent around him is poor, he can still be evaluated, which Kratch says the Giants owe to their new regime. Kratch makes a number of good points, but it sounds as if Eli Manning will remain under center for the duration of 2017, which Kratch says smacks of a desperate campaign to appease Manning.