The Dallas Cowboys locked up one of their offensive linemen on Tuesday, extending right tackle La’el Collins through the 2019 season.
Is right guard Zack Martin next?
Martin is in line for a much more significant contract than Collins, but it’s something that Cowboys brass has expressed an interest in doing at some point in camp.
The highest paid guard in the NFL is Cleveland’s Kevin Zeitler, who signed a five-year, $60 million deal in the offseason.
Never miss a local story.
Martin is expected to top that after making first-team All-Pro in two of his first three seasons (2014 and 2016), and a second-team All-Pro honor in the other year (2015).
So does Martin feel guards are underpaid in today’s game?
“You’ve seen the deals,” Martin said, smiling. “I think they’re doing just fine.”
Martin, 26, didn’t expound much more than that on a possible extension with the team, although he did appreciate comments made by executive vice president Stephen Jones on Sunday.
Jones said the Cowboys prioritize locking up Martin in training camp because “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.”
Said Martin: “I’ve tried to come in here from Day 1 and be the same guy every day. Be a consistent player. I think that’s the most important thing is being as consistent as possible. The transition was pretty easy with the group we have, but in my eyes the most important thing is to be as consistent as possible.”
Martin has certainly been that in his tenure, helping the Cowboys become one of the best offenses in the league. The Cowboys have had a 1,000-yard running back in each of Martin’s three seasons.
Martin has allowed two sacks in each of his seasons, and has been flagged a total of nine times in his career. Martin had two penalties called against him last season – one for holding, one for a false start.
“I’ve got a long way to go and I want to continue to get better,” Martin said. “I say this a lot, but the best thing about playing offensive line is you can learn something new every time you turn on the tape. We have a lot of things to improve on and this is the time to do it. It’s going to be a big camp for all of us.”
Especially if Martin and the Cowboys reach a deal. The organization has done this sort of thing in previous training camps by locking up left tackle Tyron Smith in 2014 and center Travis Frederick last year.
The Cowboys exercised their fifth-year option on Martin earlier this offseason, which keeps him under team control in 2018 for $9.3 million if the sides don’t reach an agreement before then.
“Like I’ve said before, I’m going to keep doing me and that’s all I can do,” Martin said. “Obviously extremely happy for [Collins], love having him around. We’re going to have a lot of fun playing with each other this year.”