Dallas Cowboys

When will Cowboys Pro Bowl RG Zack Martin be ready after preseason injury?

Zack Martin has agreed to a six-year, $84 million extension with the Cowboys.
Zack Martin has agreed to a six-year, $84 million extension with the Cowboys. rmallison@star-telegram.com

The Dallas Cowboys got the good news they were expecting following a magnetic resonance imaging exam Sunday on the right knee of Pro Bowl guard Zack Martin.

Per a source, there was no structural damage and Martin will be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener against the Carolina Panthers.

Martin went down in the second quarter of Saturday’s 21-13 preseason loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. He was initially diagnosed with a hyper-extended knee after the game, but the Cowboys wanted to do an MRI to make sure it wasn’t anything more serious.

Owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett expressed optimism over the positive reports they were hearing on Martin but expressed caution until they got the official results from the MRI.

Martin will be ready for the season opener. But he is likely done for the preseason. He is not expected to play against the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday’s third game, and none of the starters will play in the preseason finale against the Houston Texans.

Kadeem Edwards replaced him against the Bengals and will likely start in his place against the Cardinals.

That would likely put two starting offensive linemen out until the season opener. Jones said Saturday night that he didn’t expect Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick back until the opener.

Frederick missed the Bengals game after going to see a specialist in Los Angeles last week because of stingers he was suffering at training camp. There are no long-term concerns, but Dr. Robert Watkins diagnosed rest to allow the inflammation in his neck to subside.

If he doesn’t play against the Cardinals, which is unlikely, he certainly won’t play against the Texans.

And with Martin and Frederick out, might the Cowboys continue to keep running back Ezekiel Elliott in bubble wrap until the start of the regular season?

Jones said Saturday night that he didn’t need to see Elliott at all in the preseason and it had yet to be decided if he would play against the Cardinals Sunday. Elliott has sat out the first two preseason games.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. :@clarencehilljr
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