Right guard Zack Martin expressed a desire to stay with the Dallas Cowboys late last season. The organization would like to make it happen, too.
Executive vice president Stephen Jones is optimistic the two sides will reach a long-term agreement, and talks will get underway this week when the two sides meet at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Jones said the Cowboys have a meeting set up with Martin’s agent, Tom Condon.
“I’m always optimistic,” Jones said. “Usually when we want to get something done, we can figure it out. It takes two to tango at the end of the day. Certainly he’s a great player, he’s a guy we want to have a Cowboy uniform on for the rest of his career if we can do that. We’ve got some work to do.”
Martin, 27, is expected to set the market for guards. He is widely regarded as one of the best guards in the game, if not the best.
Martin had arguably his best season in the NFL in 2017. He gave up just one sack and wasn’t penalized while starting all 16 games. Martin has been selected to the Pro Bowl all four of his seasons in the NFL, and was named second-team All-Pro earlier this month.
Martin’s deal should surpass the five-year, $60 million deal the Cleveland Browns handed Kevin Zeitler last offseason to make him the highest-paid guard in the league.
Martin is under contract for next season as the Cowboys exercised their fifth-year option on him. He’s set to make $9.3 million in 2018.