Cowboys RG Zack Martin ruled out of season opener vs Bucs due to positive Covid result

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The Dallas Cowboys avoided major injury throughout the offseason, working carefully around minor dings and recoveries from offseason surgery. Yet, when they take the field on Thursday to begin their 2021 campaign against the defending World Champion Buccaneers, it will be without their best player.

Right guard Zack Martin is being ruled out of the road opener on Thursday night due to a positive Covid-19 test result. Tampa Bay presents a formidable defensive front including Vita Vea and Ndamakong Suh on the interior. The Cowboys will somehow have to figure out how to protect Dak Prescott without their best blocker.

The Cowboys are still currently without WR Noah Brown, who was one of five players still on the Reserved/Covid list at roster cutdowns. LG Connor Williams was activated today. Guard Brandon Knight has been identified as a close contact of Martin and has also been added to the list.

With Williams set to return to his spot as starting left guard, Connor McGovern will once again replace Martin in the starting lineup between center Tyler Biadasz and right tackle La’el Collins, who is returning to practice Sunday after dealing with a neck stinger for the last week or so.

Martin played in a career-low 10 games last season as the offensive line went through a myriad of ailments up and done the group. His going to the Reserve/Covid list means there will be a spot open on the 53-man roster (and game-day roster) for his replacement.

UDFA Braylon Jones may be the only current guard on the practice squad who would be eligible to replace Martin and Knight on the depth chart.

Some clarity may be needed to know whether or not Isaac Alarcon could be added. He is on the PS but as an International Pathway exception and for those players to become an official member of the 53-man roster need to relinquish their exception and then remain there for three weeks.

Whether or not a team can use one of each player’s two temporary call ups to the game day roster during that three-game stint has not be defined in the public statement regarding the rule change.

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