This Dallas Cowboys star could return just in time for playoffs
Help could be on the way for the Dallas Cowboys and not a moment too soon as the team has designated four-time All-Pro guard Zack Martin to return from injured reserve. Martin is reportedly “unlikely” to play in this week‘s final matchup of the regular season against the New York Giants. However, with a Cowboys win and Washington Football Team loss, Dallas would win the NFC East and Martin would be eligible to return for the team’s home playoff game.
Martin injured his calf last month during Dallas’ Thanksgiving Day loss to Washington. The Cowboys placed him on IR at the beginning of December with what was originally believed to be a season-ending calf injury.
Now, the six-time Pro Bowler figures to be able to return just in time for a potential playoff run. In a related move, the team waived tackle Jordan Mills so that they would be able to add Martin back onto their 53 man roster. Mills did not see any game action this season.
Despite losing Martin on Thanksgiving, the Cowboys offense has gelled together nicely in recent weeks. They’ve topped 30 points in each of the last three games, which coincidentally has translated into a three-game winning streak with the entire team playing arguably their best football of the season.
With Martin injured the Cowboys have had extended opportunities to look at second-year guard Connor McGovern and undrafted rookie tackle Terence Steele. Prior to Thanksgiving, Martin had moved over to right tackle to and McGovern took over at right guard so that the team could bench Steele due to poor performance.
McGovern has continued to play solid while seeing nearly every snap at right guard since Martin’s injury. Steele meanwhile, has grown leaps and bounds from where he was in the middle of the season and has quietly played well in recent weeks.
It will be interesting to see whether Dallas would return Martin to guard or continue to play him at tackle throughout the playoffs if they can make it there. Regardless of where they play him, there is no doubt that the Cowboys are a far better team with Zack Martin blocking up front than they are without him. Having him back for a potential playoff run would be massive if they want to have any hope of making some noise in January.
With a Washington loss and a victory on Sunday afternoon over the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys could make the playoffs for the first time in two seasons. If they make it that far, they would have a huge boost with arguably the best player on their roster available.