The Cowboys possess one of the more open-and-shut fifth-year option cases in the league as the 2017 league year approaches. Executive VP Stephen Jones said the team plans to pick up Zack Martin‘s fifth year, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (on Twitter), and categorized it as a “big priority” to keep the All-Pro guard around.
Dallas already has Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick signed to long-term deals, so prioritizing a potential Martin accord makes sense considering how the team is now constructed to win. Now that Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are the centerpieces of the Cowboys’ offense, a possible Martin extension — which is now an option for 2014 draftees — would make more sense without a franchise-quarterback salary on the payroll. Neither Prescott nor Elliott is extension-eligible until 2019.
Tony Romo‘s league-high cap figure of $24.7MM could be coming off the Cowboys’ books — well, much of it, at least. So, the currently cap-strapped team could move into better position to sign one of its cornerstone performers in the near future. But that might have to wait. For now, Dallas is projected to be more than $8MM over the 2017 cap.
The fifth-year figure for offensive linemen drafted outside of the top 10 in 2014 will likely exceed $9MM. Martin is scheduled to make $2.853MM next season. Like Smith, Martin is a two-time first-team All-Pro. Frederick’s earned that distinction once, so Jones tabbing the 26-year-old right guard as a player that’s going to be part of Dallas’ long-term future seems like a given.
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