For abundantly understandable reasons, Jerry Jones is really, really glad the Dallas Cowboys decided to select Zack Martin over Johnny Manziel in the first round of the NFL Draft last May.
Back then, when the Cowboys came on the clock, it was widely believed they’d either take a defensive lineman or Manziel--who Jones had gushed about in the weeks leading up to the draft. Instead, they surprised just about everyone and landed Martin out of Notre Dame.
In his rookie year, all Martin did was step into an offensive line that is now viewed as one of the best in the league--he started all 16 games for Dallas--earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in the process. Manziel had two starts for the Cleveland Browns and threw for no touchdowns and two interceptions.
“Really we had Manziel and we had Zack Martin,” Jones told ESPN’s NFL Insiders this week, via the Dallas Morning News. “We really couldn’t have known the quality of the player that Zack Martin is. It’s just been so much more than we could’ve expected and he had a very significant career at Notre Dame.
“We certainly needed--I should be looking at the future after Romo. But I decided right there the future of Romo is too far down the road when he won’t be our quarterback to be developing a quarterback like Manziel during these next few years. It just didn’t work time wise, so we had to settle on that pick, Martin, which may be one of the best if not best pick we’ve made around here in the last 15 years.”
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