Ranking the Cowboys’ last 10 first-round draft picks

The Dallas Cowboys have had some strong picks in Round 1
Dallas Cowboys, CeeDee Lamb
Dallas Cowboys, CeeDee Lamb / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
10 of 10

1. Zack Martin, G (2014)

Admittedly, this selection gets bonus points due to how disastrous it could have been.

In 2014, the NFL Draft had one of the most polarizing stars entering the league — Johnny Manziel. The Texas A&M quarterback was a Heisman Trophy winner and had an impressive highlight reel. Incredibly talented with his arm and legs, Manziel was seen as a potential heir to Tony Romo and Jerry Jones even said landing him would be a fairy tale.

Fans were hopeful the two sides could come together and the stars were aligning. Manziel slid past teams needing a quarterback and the Cowboys were on the clock at No. 16. The football world expected the name to be read off the draft card to be Johnny Football but instead, it was Zack Martin, an offensive lineman from Notre Dame.

Martin said he was up to the challenge of proving he was the correct pick and might have been motivated more by the aggravating slights from Jerry Jones. After adding Martin, Jones made it clear he wanted the Texas A&M product but was stopped by his son Stephen Jones — to the relief of everyone in the war room.

Manziel, of course, flamed out and was one of the biggest busts in Cleveland Browns history. Martin, on the other hand, has cemented himself as one of the best guards in the entire NFL. He's entering his 11th season and has nine Pro Bowl and nine All-Pro selections under his belt. He's a dominant force in the run game as well as pass protection and will go down as one of the best picks in team history — especially since it meant they avoided disaster.

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