That should come to no one’s surprise as the best player on the Dallas Cowboys. Offensive lineman Zack Martin has been arguably the best offensive guard in the NFL since being drafted 16th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft.
As he watched his linemates fall to injuries one-by-one, the Notre Dame product remained a dominant force along Dallas’ offensive line. He more than held his own in both run blocking and pass protection.
What made the four-time first-team All-Pro so impressive this season was more than his success at right guard. It was more than him continuing to play great with the offensive line falling apart. It was him being able to have the same level of dominance while shifting to right tackle.
He had experience playing tackle in college and was bound to return to help out the Cowboys. His play at right tackle against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 11 resulted in giving up only 1.0 sack and running back Ezekiel Elliott’s first 100+ rushing yard game of the season.
Heading into the Week 12 matchup against the Washington Football Team, Pro Football Focus had Martin as the second highest-graded offensive guard. The versatile lineman was on pace to be a first-team All-Pro for the 2020 season.
Unfortunately, similar to his linemates, the injury bug got to him. Zack Martin was on the field for ten offensive snaps before the injury that forced him to miss the rest of the Week 12 matchup.
The calf strain he suffered is likely to hold him out of the lineup anywhere from three to six weeks. That means he may miss the rest of the season.
If doctors declare Martin is ready to return, the Cowboys should opt to hold him out of the lineup. That will prevent any further injuries and allows him to prepare for the 2021 season. There is nothing to gain from him playing this season.
All five players listed have played very well this season. That doesn’t mean they are the only ones. Here are some players that just missed the list.
Honorable Mentions: Aldon Smith, CeeDee Lamb, Randy Gregory, Donovan Wilson
Player stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference