Cowboys Zack Martin wasn’t around to protect Dalton, but he handled it

Tony Thompson
·2 min read

The 2020 Dallas Cowboys without Dak Prescott have lacked the kind of fire and brimstone required to not just be successful in the NFL, but to survive a season. Sure, they get paid to play a game, but showing up to a workplace that’s lost all its fun is soul-sucking. That’s where this team is. And that’s where their heads were at when Andy Dalton was smashed into the FedEx Field turf last Sunday.

There is a gaping chasm where leadership once existed in Dallas. It had fully been Dak Prescott’s team but even he doesn’t go battle by himself. His ability to rally the troops had been seen in every single game he participated in. He was always willing to put his body on the line, and in return his teammates did the same. But the teammates even he relied on when push came to shove weren’t around on Sunday. Zack Martin was asked about the lack of response to Jon Bostic’s dirty hit.

Yeah, I think we addressed it. I think it goes with what Coach McCarthy said after the game. We take a lot of pride in caring for our teammates, and obviously the reaction probably wasn’t what everyone was thinking. But I think it’s a good learning moment for those young guys moving forward. I think the big thing to get across is if there’s any doubt that we got love and have our teammates back that’s just the wrong thought. I think It’s a learning experience for those guys and if if ever comes up again I think it will be different.

Translation: that wouldn’t stand if I were on the field. And he’s right. Every team needs an enforcer or two. In the past it’s been La’el Collins and Zack Martin who have never been known to shy away from confrontation before or after the whistle. Part of it is personality, but part of it is the kind of confidence that comes with experience. Martin continued:

Put yourself in their shoes; Yeah, obviously I think young guys are worried about doing their job and there’s a lot of stuff going on out there. I don’t want to make excuses but I think it was a good learning moment for those guys.

This is not the kind of mistake that will happen twice, mostly because Martin is expected to return to the fold on Sunday night against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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