Dallas Cowboys

All-Pro Zack Martin frustrated by slow contract talks, absent from Cowboys OTAs

Zack Martin is now the highest-paid guard in the NFL.
Zack Martin is now the highest-paid guard in the NFL. Star-Telegram file

Sources have confirmed that all-pro guard Zack Martin didn’t participate in the Dallas Cowboys’ Organized Team Activities (OTAs) on Tuesday and he has no plans to take part in any of them until he gets a new contract.

Per a source, Martin is frustrated with the slow progress in negotiations for a long-term contract extension, which the Cowboys have promised was a priority since before last season.

"This is the business side of the NFL," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who didn't anticipate Martin practicing on Wednesday. "He's handled himself perfectly right from the start. I know there's on-going dialogue between him and the Jones family."

Martin is in the final year of his rookie contract. His base salary this season is $9.3 million.

Martin, who has made the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team every year since the Cowboys took him in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, is angling for a deal that will make him the highest paid guard in the league, while also surpassing tackle Tyron Smith as the highest paid player on the Cowboys.

The Jacksonville Jaguars set the bar high earlier in free agency when they gave guard Andy Norwell a contract extension that averages $13.3 million per season.

Although frustrated, Martin has participated in team workouts and the offseason program before this week.

He said last week that being around his teammates helped him cope with the slow process of the negotiations.

"I really don't think about it now because I'm with [teammates] working out,” Martin said at the Cowboys’ annual Reliant Home Run Derby for the Salvation Army. “We'll see. Hopefully it gets done. We'll see where it goes."

What's going on now is strictly business.

Martin did conditioning and the meetings with his teammates. He just abstained from the on-field workouts in an effort to avoid injury.

No one knows if this continues into minicamp and training camp if a deal is not done by then.

Chaz Green worked at right guard with the starting lineup in practice.

But his absence was noted.

“Yeah, we definitely understand the situation,” quarterback Dak Prescott said. “We miss our brother, we miss having 70 out there. But 100 percent understand the situation, know why he's doing it. Want the best for him. Hope he gets everything he deserves.”

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