Though some fans may take him for granted after so many years of sustained excellence, Cowboys RG Zack Martin is now approaching rarefied air as his career creeps past its midpoint towards the legacy-building stage.
This week, Martin’s trophy case got an additional bauble, furthering his argument not just as one of the league’s best linemen, but as a future Hall of Famer whose case for Canton is becoming almost unimpeachable.
Martin was named first-team All-Pro once more in 2021, joining Micah Parsons and Trevon Diggs atop the mountain, and shaking off an injury-marred 2020 to get back to his rightful place.
That 2020 campaign was the aberration and not the beginning of the end for the 31-year-old Martin, though. His return to form this season made the mauling guard one of 12 players since 1970 to be named a first-team All-Pro at least five times and a Pro Bowler at least seven times in his first eight seasons. The other names who’ve met that criteria? Certified legends.
Cowboys OG Zack Martin absolutely deserves the Hall of Fame.
You can go ahead and pencil Patrick Willis, Joe Thomas and Luke Kuechly into the Hall as well once their times have come, for what it’s worth. This list should go 12-for-12 in that department, and we’re glad a light is being shined on Martin these days.
Typically, what goes on in the trenches doesn’t get as clearly recognized as Aaron Donald’s disruption and Barry Sanders’ unparalleled consistency. In Martin’s case, his greatness has become nearly routine and can be penciled in for 16 games a year except in 2020 and 2018 (10 and 14, respectively).
When you look at things this way, though, it’s painfully obvious Martin will have to pose for a bust whenever he hangs ’em up, and quite likely has the clearest Hall of Fame chances of anyone on the roster during this era of Cowboys football.
Martin will be a captain for as long as he laces ’em up in Dallas, and it doesn’t take an advanced stats degree to make a case for his remarkable importance.
No, the old-school stats and honors will do just fine to sum up Martin whenever he calls it quits — and his bronze bust will help tell the tale, too.