All season long, we've heard about how the third in a line of three years of first-round draft picks on the offensive line, Zack Martin, made the difference this season in the Cowboys' offense and the overall team success.
He's often been called the "missing piece" to a line that was otherwise the same as the 2013 version that struggled to protect Tony Romo and didn't produce near the rushing numbers as it did in 2014.
But Martin, the rookie guard out of Notre Dame, sees it the other way.
In advance of his first Pro Bowl appearance in his first NFL season, Martin said he isn't sure he'd be in the Pro Bowl if not for the situation he was placed in to start his professional career.
“I don’t know if I’d be here right now if I didn’t get drafted in Dallas,” Martin told the team's website from the Pro Bowl in Phoenix, where he is one of eight Cowboys selected for the game. “It’s just right place, right time. [Martin’s offensive line teammates] hold you to a higher standard and bring out the best in you. I really couldn’t ask for a better spot.”
Martin says he's been helped tremendously by playing alongside second-year center Travis Frederick, a fellow Pro Bowler, and veteran right tackle Doug Free.
“I couldn’t have landed in a better spot, with a better group of guys that just want to be successful,” Martin said. “These guys have helped me so much this year. And I think as a group, we’ve just made an effort to get better and better and keep raising the bar.”