Cowboys’ Zack Martin still the best Guard in the NFL? looking at the No. 1 Center ranked by League’s executives, scouts and coaches

ESPN conducted their fourth edition of surveying NFL executives, coaches, scouts, and players as a part of their 2023 NFL season preview to create a list of the 10 best players at 11 different positions of national football. The Dallas Cowboys Zack Martin overshadowed everyone to rank first in the top 10 guard list.

Jeremy Fowler had several ties for some positions and it was later fixed by additional voting as well as follow-up calls with the 80 voters. Till now the list of top 10 tight ends, off-the-ball linebackers, cornerbacks, defensive and offensive tackles, edge rushers, cornerbacks, safeties, running backs, as well as guards/centers have been disclosed.

NFL panels rank Cowboys’ Zack Martin NFL’s best Guard

The Cowboys veteran guard Martin grabbed the first position in ESPN’s list and he is now the fourth Dallas athlete to earn the feat in this year’s survey, joining Trevon Diggs, Tony Pollard, and Micah Parsons.

After getting drafted by the Cowboys as the 16th overall in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Notre Dame product earned his sixth first-team All-Pro nod last year with the record of giving up three sacks on a 96% pass block win rate along with his 73.8% run block win rate.

A high-ranking NFL executive said the 32-year-old star’s physical ability might diminish due to his age, albeit he could still find a way to stay relevant,

“He’s maybe declined physically a little bit due to age, but he’s so smart and so instinctive that he makes up for any physical shortcoming.”

The list included the Kansas City Chiefs Joe Thuney, Indianapolis Colts Quenton Nelson, Green Bay Packers Elgton Jenkins, Cleveland Browns Joel Bitonio, Philadelphia Eagles Jason Kelce, Atlanta Falcons Chris Lindstrom, Chiefs’ Creed Humphrey, Jacksonville Jaguars Brandon Scherff, and Detroit Lions Frank Ragnow respectively.

What is Zack Martin’s contract with the Cowboys?

The Cowboys added six years to Martin’s one-year deal back in 2018, making him the highest-paid guard in NFL history back then.

According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the average annual value of the extension was $14 million, with the whole contract averaging $13.34 million a season along with $40 million in guarantees including a $20 million signing bonus.

Nevertheless, the Cowboys reworked his contract in 2023 to make room for other players by turning the $12 million of his 2023 salary into a signing bonus after restructuring Dak Prescott’s deal. The team reportedly cleared $8.8 million in Martin’s move. According to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, restructures of Prescott and Zack’s deals allowed Dallas to free up “about $30 [million]” in the salary cap.

The seven-time All-Pro is signed through 2024. With a new NFL season approaching fast, it will be interesting to see if he can grab the top spot again in the upcoming year.


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Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


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