Cowboys great teases retirement out of nowhere at mandatory minicamp

Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages

The Dallas Cowboys' roster could look a lot different this time next year. While they lost several players to free agency this offseason, multiple longtime Cowboys could be gone. As of this writing, Dak Prescott, Zack Martin and DeMarcus Lawrence are all entering the final year of their contracts.

The Cowboys seemingly would like to keep all three players, but that decision could be out of their hands in regards to one of them.

Speaking to reporters at mandatory minicamp Tuesday, Martin didn't shut the door on retiring in 2025. Martin is focused on the upcoming season, so he didn't get into why he's considering walking away.

That said, his revelation serves as a sobering reality check that seismic changes could hit the Cowboys next offseason regardless of how they perform in 2024. If anything, it underlines the importance of Dallas exorcising its January demons and finally making a deep playoff run.

Cowboys guard Zack Martin teases 2025 retirement at mandatory minicamp

“I’m not saying 100%, but I think it’s definitely in the realm of possibilities,” Martin said, via the Dallas Morning News. "And that’s one thing I don’t want to do. For myself, I don’t want to be thinking, ‘Oh, this is it. This is it.’ I want to stay in the moment, and I want to play the best that I can play at this point and be the best right guard this team needs on a weekly basis. And then after the season, we’ll figure out what’s going on.”

That doesn't sound like a player who's committed to playing beyond 2024. Martin may have blindsided Cowboys fans with this bombshell, but it really isn't all that farfetched. After all, Martin turns 34 years old in November and is approaching his 11th season. We've seen accomplished offensive lineman walk away from the game a lot younger.

Another variable to consider is that Martin will be a free agent in 2025. The Cowboys and Martin agreed to a restructure last summer that paid Martin an additional $8.5 million across two seasons. Perhaps that raise was enough to leave Martin satisfied with his career earnings.

Martin has been an Iron Man for virtually his entire career. He's started 152 of a possible 162 regular-season games since he was drafted in 2014. That's incredible durability for an interior lineman. With the beating guards take, though, his durability only emphasizes the wear and tear on his body.

A nine-time Pro Bowler and member of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 2010s, Martin has missed time through injury of two of the last four seasons. Of the 10 games he's missed in his career, eight occurred during that span.

It'd be unfair to say that Martin's body is breaking down. At the same time, though, it's easy to understand why he may be on the verge of hanging 'em up.

More Cowboys news and analysis