Head Coach Jason Garrett Announces Inactive Player for Cowboys’ First Preseason Game

Getty Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett defended the decision to trade for Amari Cooper.

Head coach Jason Garrett announces the Dallas Cowboys will not have guard Zack Martin against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday. Garrett addressed the media on Wednesday, answering questions about wide receiver Amari Cooper’s practice status too.

Over the last week, Martin has been dealing with a back injury. Unfortunately for Martin and the Cowboys, he will be out for this week’s game. It is the team’s first preseason game so they remain patient with Martin. His health is a major concern for the offense and is a proven player. This seems precautionary as the extra work is unneeded for the veteran this early in the preseason.

Martin’s Injury History

The team reported that his MRI was minor. However, head coach Jason Garrett said that Martin has “some irritation to a disc” in his back, during a press conference on Saturday.

The Cowboys’ o-line has the depth to cover Martin’s absence. Joe Looney stepped up during an injury-plagued 2018 for the o-line. The Cowboys resigned him this year to play all three offensive line positions.

Health of the offensive line will be crucial to running back Ezekiel Elliott’s safety and quarterback Dak Prescott’s livelihood. One of the team’s strengths should be offensive line this year as players fully return to health.

The only bright side of having players shelved is that other players get opportunities to step up when they normally would not.

Zack Martin’s Career

The sixth-year player was drafted in the first round out of Notre Dame in 2014. He has been an annual All-Pro candidate. He leads the Cowboys’ offensive line as a key contributor in pass protection and the run game.

At Notre Dame, Martin played in all 13 games of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. In 2012, the Irish went undefeated with Martin as team captain. He also played in their loss to Alabama in the 2013 National Championship game.

As a Pro Bowler in his first five seasons, Martin could be on a short list of linemen to make the Pro Bowl in their first six seasons. Consistent success like this affords him some time-off as the team knows what he provides them. They want to make sure Martin is ready for the regular season and he will probably jump back into the starting guard spot like he never left.

Martin was recently featured on NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2019 at the 59th spot. He was voted on the list by players and notably has their respect as he was the only offensive guard on the Top 100 list. He has a great shot to make the list again in 2020.

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Cooper Injury Update

Garrett also announced that Cooper will not participate in the team’s next practice. A timetable for his return should be revealed soon. He’ll likely be held back in the first preseason game on Saturday.

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