The national media did its best to paint Zack Martin's contract holdout as a serious concern for the Dallas Cowboys, but there was never really a doubt that Jerry Jones and company would get it sorted before the regular season.
At the end of the day, all that mattered was that Martin reported back to the Cowboys before the Sept. 10 opener against the Giants.
On Monday, the Cowboys and Martin agreed to a pay raise for each of the next two seasons to end the All-Pro guard's holdout.
Per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, Martin will earn a fully guaranteed $18 million salary in both 2023 and 2024.
Cowboys end Zack Martin's holdout, agree to pay raise in 2023 and 2024 with All-Pro guard.
The reworked contract doesn't make Martin the NFL's highest-paid interior lineman -- though he certainly deserves such recognition -- but it's a notable improvement from the $13.5 million he was scheduled to make this year and the $14 million he was set to pocket next season.
In total, Martin will earn and additional $8.5 million.
Some fans on social media posed whether the Cowboys would consider trading Martin if tensions reached a boiling point, but there was never anything to worry about regarding his short-term future with the franchise.
For starters, Dallas and Martin had "brief talks" during the NFL Combine about the possibility of reworking his contract. Furthermore, Martin is one of the franchise's greatest-ever players. Though the Jones family likes to pinch pennies from time to time, they recognize Martin's importance to the team's success and locker room morale.
While Trevon Diggs and Malik Hooker inked extensions after Martin's holdout began, getting the eight-time Pro Bowler back on the field (seemingly) was always their top priority. And they got it done with plenty of time to spare before Week 1.
Martin likely won't see any preseason action, but his return comes at a perfect time because the placeholders deployed at RG in his absence didn't come close to cutting it. Expect the cohesion and effectiveness of the group to improve tenfold from here on out.