The Dallas Cowboys have begun their full pads practice. A complete stock report, which accounts for underperforming players, is probably premature at this point.
Change is possible, as it's still early in the training camp process. There are two things that require attention, and I can't turn a blind eye to them.
Ronald Jones will miss the first two games of the season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. This will allow younger running backs the opportunity to gain additional reps.
Another cause of concern is the absence of Zack Martin. We all know this story. Martin wants more money and Jerry Jones is doing Jerry Jones things.
Although Martin's age worries me, I empathize with his point of view. He is the best guard in football and is being underpaid. Some fans blame Martin for being selfish and demand he sacrifice for the Cowboys to sign a specific player.
That's not Martin's concern. Every player should prioritize what's best for themselves. Just like a team is going do what's best for them. To maximize their success, players must capitalize on their opportunities. Even if that means sitting out. The game is not a fair one.
Four years have passed since Martin signed his current contract that spans six years. The best guard in the NFL is him. Despite that, he earned $9.8 million in cash last year, which was less than what 13 other guards made this year.
The NFL's top five highest-paid guards don't include Martin. The cap has increased by nearly $50M since he signed his extension.
I'm fine with Martin wanting a new deal. I haven't listened to Jerry Jones in a decade.
Stephen Jones has mastered the art of salary cap manipulation. If they want to, Dallas can arrange a new contract for Martin. I'm not worried about other people's money. Let's wait and see how it all plays out.
Let's continue on.