Dallas Cowboys

Team-friendly deal or highest paid for Zack Martin? The latter

The Dallas Cowboys have said getting guard Zack Martin signed to a long-term contract extension is one of their biggest goals of the off-season.

The team has already picked up the fifth-year option on the former 2014 first-round pick.

But getting a deal done as smoothly as they did previously with tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick might no be in the offing.

Martin doesn’t appear interested in giving the Cowboys a hometown discount with a friendly deal and doesn’t plan to get involved in the negotiations on a personal basis.

“I love being a Cowboy,” Martin said. “But I will let my agents handle it. They will let me know when it’s time to do something.”

Martin is not only a three-time Pro Bowler, but a three-time All Pro in his first three seasons in the league and will likely command a contract that not only makes him the highest paid guard in the NFL but also surpassing Smith as highest paid player on the team.

Smith got $22.1 million in guaranteed salary on a deal that averages $12.2 million annually in addition to a modest $10 million bonus when he inked an eight-year, $97.6 million deal in 2014.

Look for Martin’s deal to pass that of Cleveland Browns guard Kevin Zeitler, the current highest paid guard in the league following a five-year, $60 million deal to come over from the Cincinnati Bengals in free agency. It averages $12 million annually and includes $31.5 million in guaranteed money.

Asked about a hometown discount, Martin said, “I don’t know about that.”

Martin will not let the contract situation be a distraction.

“I’m focused on winning games,” Martin said. “Everything will take care of itself.”

Clarence Hill: 817-390-7760, @clarencehilljr

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