Dallas Cowboys

Zack Martin was the right choice

It didn’t take Zack Martin long to establish himself as an impact player. The guard was the only offensive rookie selected to the Pro Bowl.

“That wasn’t even on my radar,” Martin said. “I was just trying to come in and help the team and get on the field. It’s a tremendous honor but we’ve got to focus on what’s ahead with the team.”

The 16th overall pick has allowed only one sack this season and has no holding penalties. He played through a sprained right ankle against the Eagles, and although he didn’t practice last week, he 57 of 63 snaps, pulled after the game was out of hand.

That impressed the Cowboys as much as anything he has done this season.

“He played very well given the circumstances,” Garrett said. “He did a great job in the game against Philadelphia, fighting through that injury and continuing to play in that game. Then, he was a lot like DeMarco in his mentality. After the game, he wasn’t feeling very good, and his ankle was really swollen and he said, ‘I’m playing in this game,’ and that’s the mindset he had all week long. He wasn’t able to practice. He walked through on Saturday, but in his mind he was ready to go. He prepared the right way mentally and then went out and played. I thought he played well certainly given the circumstances. For a young guy to be able to do that was very impressive.”

Martin has yet to hit the rookie wall, playing as well – if not better – now as he did in Week 1.

“I haven’t seen that wall,” offensive line coach Bill Callahan said. “I don’t know if he’d ever admit it, but he certainly has pushed himself, improved week in and week out on all the details of his position. He’s prepared unbelievably just for everything he has to handle in terms of his job and how it relates to everybody else. He’s been terrific in terms of preparation. I’ve never seen a dropoff even when he got nicked a couple of weeks ago. He’s never dropped off in terms of his preparation and also his work ethic.”