Friday, May 16, 2014
Zack Martin opens at right guard
By Todd Archer
IRVING, Texas -- As the Dallas Cowboys' first-round pick, all eyes were on guard Zack Martin at the first rookie minicamp practice.
And not just the coaches, scouts, front office and media.
A handful of veteran offensive linemen watched the drills Friday, led by Doug Free, Tyron Smith and Mackenzy Bernadeau.
"They just want to see us work," Martin said. "And if we’re going to be part of that group, they want to make sure and know what they’re getting."
After starting all but two of his 52 games at Notre Dame, Martin lined up at right guard on Friday. Bernadeau started 26 games the past two seasons at right guard. Ronald Leary started at left guard in 2013.
"It's really just a starting point, first time he's been out there," coach Jason Garrett said. "We see his position flex and his versatility. We actually see him starting inside more than we see him starting outside. We'll have great competition all throughout our offensive line, particularly in the interior of our offensive line. It seems like it's a pretty natural fit for him. He typically played on the left hand side, played left tackle, but his position flex is something we thought was a real asset. He's a smart football player. He has a lot of poise about him and doesn't seem to be fazed by a whole lot.”
The Cowboys threw 2013 first-round pick, Travis Frederick, into the starting lineup from the beginning last year. Martin said he does not expect it to take long to get comfortable inside.
“Playing inside, the guys are a lot tighter,” he said. “Everything is closer together, so out on the edge you’ve got room to maneuver. Inside you’ve got to have tighter footwork and be more aware.”
And if he needs any pointers, the veterans will be there.
“Just helping with techniques,” Martin said. “Technique is something you’ve got to get. They’re like another coach on the field. Doug’s been through it a bunch of years now. Maybe if he sees something the coaches don’t see, he’ll correct me.”