Football

To avoid confusion, Jason Garrett refers to Zack Martin’s brother as ‘Notre Dame’

Notre Dame center Nick Martin is the brother of Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl lineman Zack Martin. Nick Martin is participating in the Senior Bowl this week.
Notre Dame center Nick Martin is the brother of Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl lineman Zack Martin. Nick Martin is participating in the Senior Bowl this week. AP

Jason Garrett smiled when asked if he’d mistakenly called Notre Dame offensive lineman Nick Martin by the wrong name so far at the Senior Bowl.

After all, Nick Martin’s brother is Dallas Cowboys’ Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin.

“I have called him Zack,” Garrett said with a chuckle. “Set the huddle, Zack … I caught myself so I’m calling him ‘Notre Dame’ now.”

That works since Nick Martin is the only Notre Dame linemen at the Senior Bowl, and he is hoping to follow a similar path like his brother.

Zack Martin, who is in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, used a strong Senior Bowl performance against Aaron Donald to help boost his draft stock, and ultimately joined the Cowboys’ as their first-round selection in 2014.

Nick Martin would like to do the same thing, and got some advice from his brother on how to handle this week.

“He said it was going to be hectic and obviously it is,” Nick Martin said. “He said enjoy it and really work hard. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to play football, enjoy the game. Trying to soak it all in.”

As far as growing up with Zack as an older brother, Nick smiled and said: “I got picked on a lot to be honest. Then we got to high school and that’s where we really became close, had that bond and became really just best friends.”

Nick and Zack were at Notre Dame together for three years from 2011-13, and started on the offensive line together in 2013. That experience, Nick said, is something special.

“It’s hard to put into words,” Nick said. “When he left, it kind of hit me. It’s just one of those things that gets more special as time goes on.”

Now, though, Nick is trying to join his brother in the NFL fraternity. Zack primarily played left tackle in his college career before moving to guard in the NFL.

Nick is also trying to show versatility, playing at guard and center this week. Being able to play multiple interior line spots will only help Nick going forward, as teams covet versatile lineman.

And so far, so good as far as Garrett is concerned.

“We’re excited to have Nick here and evaluate him,” Garrett said. “He’s been a good football player at Notre Dame and you can see why. He’s smart, tough and I think he got better over the last 48 hours. He had a better practice [Wednesday] than he did [Tuesday].”

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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