Zack Martin is the Dallas Cowboys’ next offensive linemen due for a contract extension, and executive vice president Stephen Jones is hopeful of reaching a deal during training camp.
This is the time when the Cowboys have signed left tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick to extensions in recent years.
“We’d love to get Zack Martin done,” Jones said on Sunday afternoon. “We’ve made that real clear and we’ll be going to work on him. I think he’s an important part of our future. He represents everything we want our players to be about. He’s not only a great player on the field, he’s a great person off the field. We’ll be hard at it, trying to do it.
“At the same time, it’s important. It’s going to be a big number, as we all know, and it has to be right in terms of not only for us, but for him. I feel confident that we’ll get something worked out.”
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As Jones alluded to, Martin is in line for a big pay day. He is widely regarded as one of the top guards in the league, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2014 and 2016 and second-team honors in 2015.
Kevin Zeitler became the highest-paid guard this offseason when he agreed to a five-year, $60 million deal with the Cleveland Browns.
Martin, 26, is under Cowboys control for the next two seasons. The organization exercised their fifth-year option on him during the offseason, which means Martin would be paid $9.3 million in 2018 if no extension is reached.
Martin appears to be at the top of the Cowboys’ priorities in signing long-term this training camp. Jones didn’t seem overly eager to get a deal done with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, who is in a contract year.
Lawrence is coming off a one sack season and has had multiple back surgeries, which makes his market tough to gauge at this point.
“Every situation is different. You never rule out addressing any situation,” Jones said. “DeMarcus has missed a lot of football. For him, I think he has a lot of confidence that he’s going to come back and have a great year.
“I love it when our players feel like, ‘Hey, I’m going to go show you I’m healthy and can be one of the best defensive ends in this league.’ If he does that, if he goes out and has a great year, obviously he’s going to increase his value in terms of what he could get in a contract. There’s no tension there or anything like that. we’re rooting for him. I want him to go have an amazing year and then we’ll sit down and figure it out with DeMarcus.
“But Zack obviously is in a situation where not a lot is going to change. He’s one of the best, if not the best, guard in the NFL. We’ve got to go to work and get him signed up. He’s just the type of Cowboy we want to have on this football team. He’s not only a great football player, but he’s a great person and represents all the things we want in a Dallas Cowboy.”