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Thursday, September 4, 2014
Ho-hum, just another game for Zack Martin

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – Zack Martin has made such a seamless transition to the Dallas Cowboys’ offensive line that it’s sometimes easy to forget he will play his first regular-season game on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

“But he’s really demonstrated a maturity about him right from Day 1,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Stepping into that starting lineup and really showing us that he belongs and playing like a veteran player. He started a lot of games at Notre Dame and you see that in how he plays – the experience, the demeanor he plays with. There’ll be growing pains for him just like there will be for everybody. It’s a heck of a challenge and test for us, but he’s definitely shown some maturity right from the start.”

Martin is almost unperturbed by his NFL debut. He was that way in May when it was pointed out he will be forever compared to Johnny Manziel in these parts because the Cowboys passed on the Texas A&M quarterback with the 16th pick. He was that way on the first day of training camp. He was that way for his first action in the preseason.

“I’m pumped,” he said, though with the tone you wouldn’t know it.

The 49ers’ strength – even without Aldon Smith – is their front seven. Martin will line up mostly against Ray McDonald, but he will also see two-time All-Pro and five-time Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Smith.

“I know he’s a very veteran player, very strong, very smart and really been one of the more dominant players in the NFL the last five, six years,” Martin said. “It’s going to be a great challenge.”