The Cowboys have been able to count on one thing every season since 2014, and that is that right guard Zack Martin is going to be a dominant force on the interior of their offensive line.

Martin can easily say that he’s the best offensive lineman at any position when considering how he slid out the right tackle for the Cowboys in 2020 due to injuries and still looked like an All-Pro. However, Pro Football Focus made a list of the top-ranked guards in the NFL and what tiers they belong in, and Martin reigned supreme with the No. 1 slot.

“When Quenton Nelson is at his best, there’s nobody in his class. However, injury led to a dip in his performance, so it’s only fair to credit Zack Martin, who just keeps on plugging away at an elite level on the Dallas offensive line, regardless of who’s around him. Martin is, if anything, getting better with age, and last season he posted a 93.4 overall PFF grade, which probably would have garnered far more attention if Trent Williams hadn’t been breaking the scale for offensive line grades over in San Francisco.

“Quietly, Joel Bitonio has forced his way into this conversation, as well. He may not have the physical gifts of Nelson or the run-blocking pedigree of Martin, but Bitonio is on a streak of six straight seasons with an 80.0-plus PFF pass-blocking grade. He even narrowly beat Martin’s overall grade in 2021, with a 93.6 mark.”

Saying that no one is in the class of Nelson when it comes to guards is a bit of a slight to Martin and what he’s done with the Cowboys. Although Nelson has been a monster with All-Pro selections in each of his four seasons, Martin has been the gold standard for guard play for nearly a decade.

When Martin came to the Cowboys after Tyron Smith (2011) and Travis Frederick (2013), the Cowboys became arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. Martin was a First-Team All-Pro as a rookie, and he’s continued to maintain that level of play with seven All-Pro selections (five first-team, two second-team) in eight seasons with the Cowboys. His only year without an All-Pro nod was in 2020 when he missed six games due to a calf issue.

Martin has been regularly available for the Cowboys by playing in 120 of a possible 129 games (all starts). He has also been highly disciplined with just 19 penalties called on him throughout his career (only four in the last three seasons).

The Cowboys drafted Tyler Smith in the first round, and he’ll likely start opposite Martin at left guard. His power and motor along with Martin can make the interior of the offensive line a strength for the Cowboys, especially if center Tyler Biadasz takes the next step.

Feature image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports