The Cowboys' first OTA of the offseason began Tuesday and ends Thursday. Here's what we've learned so far:
Zack Martin wants to get paid
Zack Martin, the Cowboys' perennial Pro Bowl guard, wants his money. Until he gets it, you shouldn't expect him to participate in any of the club's OTA's, which began Tuesday and concludes Thursday.
And that seems to be just fine with his teammates and coach Jason Garrett.
This OTA is voluntary. A minicamp June 12-14 is mandatory.
Martin, the 16th player picked in the 2014 draft, is entering this fifth season. He has been negotiating a long-term deal with the Cowboys for more than a year. They talked about a deal last year, but negotiations broke off in training camp because Martin wanted to focus on the season.
The Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option, which means he's scheduled to earn $9.2 million this season. The long-term deal he covets will probably pay him an average of at least $13.3 million, making him the game's highest-paid guard.
"He's everything you want in a football player," Garrett said. "He's an outstanding player, the best at his position in the National Football League and represents our team on and off the field exactly how you want.
"He's a great leader, been a great leader right from the start. But, again, this is the business side of the NFL and he and his representatives are working through things with the Joneses about getting this deal done.
"These are big decisions on both sides. This is just one of the fallouts of something like this, but he's handled himself perfectly right from the start."
Even though he's not practicing, Martin has been lifting weights and working out with the team all off-season.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, who's in line for a huge contract at the end of this season, said he understands why Martin is skipping the OTA.
"We miss having [No.] 70 out there, but 100 percent understand the situation," Prescott said. "We know why he is doing it and what's best for him. I Hope he gets everything he deserves."
The NFL established a new policy for the national anthem on Wednesday, and it didn't create much of a stir in the Cowboys' locker room.
The new policy requires all players, coaches and team personnel to stand during the national anthem, or the team will be fined. Players are allowed to remain inside the locker room if they don't want to stand.
Each team will establish its own guidelines for the anthem.
"I'm glad they came to an agreement in some form or another," quarterback Dak Prescott said. "I'll be out there standing."
Will all of his teammates follow the new policy?
"I'm pretty sure we all know kind of what Jerry [Jones] said, his statement last year. Don't see that changing, so who knows? We'll figure that out when it gets that time" Prescott said.
Jason Garrett mum on Terrance Williams
Coach Jason Garrett said he's spoken to receiver Terrance Williams a couple of times about his arrest early Saturday morning.
Williams, the most accomplished receiver on the roster, was issued a citation and arrested for public intoxication on Saturday. Frisco police said they were looking for Williams because he left the scene of a one-car accident involving a blue Lamborghini registered to him about 4:45 A.M.
"I don't really have a comment about what he and I talked about, but he's been in our building the last couple of days working out," Garrett said. "He hasn't practiced because he's coming off the (foot) injury, but he's working out and he's a part of our team."
Sean Lee taking it easy
The Cowboys are giving linebacker Sean Lee a break during OTA. Lee, who has played in 86 of a possible 128 games since getting drafted in 2010, isn't practicing.
"It's the same process we kind of use this time of year," Lee said. "It's tough not being out there because you want to be out there trying to lead from the front. But there's perspective this time of year that we've got to build towards training camp and build towards the year."
Lee did say he thinks this will be the Cowboys' best defense since he arrived with the emergence of DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving and the additions of linebacker Leighton Vander Esch in the first round and passing game defensive coordinator Kris Richard because of his teaching skills and leadership.
Lockers and Leadership
Some players have changed lockers — and it's all because of how coach Jason Garrett wants his leaders placed in the locker room.
The Cowboys' locker room has three exits — one on each end and one leading into the showers. Garrett likes his leaders having lockers on each side of every entrance.
DeMarcus Lawrence has moved into Dez Bryant's old locker, which is across from Sean Lee's locker at one end of the locker room. At the other end, Tyron Smith's locker is across from Travis Frederick, who moves into Darren McFadden's old locker.
Zack Martin moves into Jason Witten's space, which is across from Dan Bailey's locker, leading into the showers.