It wasn’t a flashy move, but it wasn’t a moronic move, which is all Dallas Cowboys fans can ask for these days: America’s Team selected Notre Dame guard Zack Martin with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
While much of the football world foolishly believed the Cowboys would actually consider drafting Johnny Manziel in the first round, the realistic folks would have put money on Dallas selecting a defensive lineman, or even a safety, with that 16th pick. With Aaron Donald and Anthony Barr both off the board, the Cowboys passed on Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and went with the safe pick in Martin, who will start immediately.
Martin can play any position on the offensive line, which means he can step right in and replace Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard, the weakest position on the Cowboys’ offensive front. If Dallas decides to move Doug Free from right tackle to right guard where he is a better natural fit, Martin can easily play right tackle.
Either way, the offensive line will finally be shored up across the board and be an asset for the Cowboys instead of a liability like it was for several years before the Tyron Smith pick in 2011.
Martin has good size at 6-foot-4 and 308 pounds and his 9.5-inch hands are like weapons when fending off pass rushers and locking onto defenders while run blocking. As an offensive line prospect, he’s as good as they get in the middle of the first round, so Dallas made a good, safe pick, especially since a trade wasn’t made.
Assuming the Cowboys address their glaring needs on the defensive line on the second day of the draft (and let Rod Marinelli work his magic with those youngsters), the Martin pick is actually a good one.