IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys had a chance to pick the highest profiled player in the 2014 NFL Draft.
But instead, with the 16th overall pick, the Cowboys committed to the offensive line for the third time in four years. Dallas selected Notre Dame’s versatile OT/OG Zack Martin, the first guard taken in the draft.
By doing so, Dallas passed on Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback who has been projected to go anywhere from the top three picks to even later in the first round.
Martin (6-4, 308) is expected to play guard right away but could perhaps move out to offensive tackle and even center, if needed.
He started 52 consecutive games for the Fighting Irish, winning MVP honors in the 2013 Pinstripe Bowl. Martin was on several Watch Lists including the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.
In 2011, the Dallas Cowboys drafted Tyron Smith with the ninth overall pick becoming the first offensive lineman taken in the first round since 1981. Last year, the Cowboys took Travis Frederick with the 31st pick in the draft.
The Cowboys have Ronald Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau at the guard spots and this move all but eliminate bringing back veteran Brian Waters next season.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces the first Dallas Cowboys 2014 NFL Draft pick
Dallas Cowboys select Zack Martin with Sweet Sixteen pick | The Dallas Cowboys select Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Video courtesy of NFL Network. (Watch | No Audio)