Dallas Cowboys

‘We aren’t there yet’: No progress made with Dallas Cowboys holdout Zack Martin

Cowboys guard Zack Martin has stayed away from OTA practices in a contract dispute.
Cowboys guard Zack Martin has stayed away from OTA practices in a contract dispute. Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said no progress has been made with holdout Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin, who has stayed away from OTA workouts in a contract dispute.

Jones said there is no timetable and no deadline but there is also no determination on when Martin, who is under contract, will return to work with his teammates.

Jones said he hasn’t spoken with Martin’s agent Tom Condon in more than a week.

“Really not any updates as of late. Tom and I visited, I guess, a week ago, maybe 10 days ago,” Jones said. “He came into town and we had some good discussions but we just aren't there yet. We'll continue to roll up our sleeves and go to work on it. We understand this is the hard part of our business.

"Nobody wants to have Zack signed more than we do. I truly think he's one of the best offensive linemen in the league. Certainly, we think the best offensive guard in the league (and) should be paid accordingly. It's just a matter of structures and by how much and that type of thing. No one respect what Zack has done for this team, how good a player he is more than we do.”

Martin is making $9.3 million in 2018 in what is option year of his rookie contract.

After making the Pro Bowl four times in his four seasons in the league and being named first team All-Pro twice, he wants to be the highest paid guard in the league.

The two baseline deals of comparison are the five-year, $65 million deal guard Andrew Norwell signed with Jacksonville this offseason and five-year, $60 deal Kevin Zeitler signed with Cleveland last season. Norwell’s deal averages $13.3 million with $30 million in guaranteed money. Zeitler’s deal averages $12 million with a guarantee of $31 million.

Martin has shown no interest in taking below market deals as tackle Tyron Smith and center Travis Frederick have done in recent years.

Jones said he has no problem with Martin missing OTAs. And if anybody can miss a few days, it’s him.

Welterweight world champion Errol “The Truth” Spence Jr., visits the Cowboys during practice Wednesday. Spence is fighting Oscar Ocampo inside The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, headquarters of the Dallas Cowboys, June 16.

But he said the Cowboys have to think about the entire team when they do deals, especially with quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott coming up for extensions in the next year or so.

“You know every player is different,” Jones said. “Obviously, they are represented by different agents who advise differently so every situation is different. We respect our players. We respect how hard they play. One of the great problems we have here is that we drafted well. When you start talking about Tyron and Travis and the parameters that we did when we did their contracts, we try to be consistent. I’m sure they would all like a lot more money than they got, but unfortunately we’ve got to try to keep everybody and throw La’el Collins into that mix, both Dak and Zeke are coming up and you got Sean Lee on the other side and DeMarcus Lawrence and young players over there, so they understand. They want to be surrounded by good players, great players too. So it’s a balancing act. It’s not perfect. At the same time, we respect where he is and we’re going to do everything we can to get something done.”

It’s not a big deal now because OTAs are "voluntary." But the big question is whether it will get resolved before the mandatory minicamp June 12-14 or the start of training camp in late July?

And whether Martin will continue to hold out if nothing is resolved?

“You know me I’m not a deadline guy,” Jones said. “Until it’s done, it’s not done. We’ve got to continue to work hard at it. We’d like to have it done yesterday. I’m sure Zack feels the same way but for me to project, predict when it might be done is not very helpful. We’re just working hard at it.

Terrance Williams was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication after falling off an electric scooter in front of officers early Saturday morning. His 2017 Lamborghini had been discovered wrecked shortly before Williams was contacted.

Clarence E. Hill Jr.: @clarencehilljr
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