Jerry Jones didn’t sound ready to give in to All-Pro guard Zack Martin’s holdout.
The owner of the Dallas Cowboys told reporters on Saturday that “nothing” needs to happen to end the contract dispute between Martin and the team. “Martin will come to camp when he comes,” they said.
Martin will have to pay a fine of $50,000 for each day of training camp he misses this summer that he doesn’t show up. But if the two sides can agree soon, that could be fixed. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports heard from a league source that the Cowboys could do what they did with Aaron Donald and add more money to Martin’s current deal to make him happy.
But it doesn’t sound like Jones even wants to change Martin’s contract in any way to make his starting guard happy.
Ten days ago, ESPN’s Adam Schefter heard from a source that Martin felt “woefully underpaid relative to the market.” This led to rumors that Martin might skip camp. Martin, who will be 33 in November, is the NFL’s eighth-highest-paid guard, despite being chosen for six All-Pro teams and eight Pro Bowls since 2014. In 2018, the Cowboys gave Martin a six-year, $84 million contract, but in March, they changed it to free up more salary cap space.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones won’t budge on Zack Martin’s contract. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
The Cowboys will soon decide on their roster.
The Cowboys’ plans for the future depend on Martin’s situation.
After Dallas got rid of Ezekiel Elliott’s contract and signed Trevon Diggs to a five-year, $97 million extension, the team seems to be in “Super Bowl or bust” mode for 2023. But there is still the matter of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, whose contract has two years left after the Cowboys picked up his fifth-year option for 2024, and running back Tony Pollard, who will play on the franchise tag this season because he didn’t sign a long-term deal.
Micah Parsons, a linebacker, just finished his second straight season with at least 13 sacks. After being picked by the Cowboys with the No. 12 pick in 2021, he has been named to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams in his two NFL seasons. When Parsons can get a new contract after this season, he should and probably will ask for a lot of money.
Jones is aware of these things. It sounds like this is part of why he won’t give up on Martin, who is still under contract until the 2024 season.
“It’s not about the past; it’s about the facts,” he said, “Jones told us. “The money is needed to pay Parsons. We need the money to pay the players we still have to pay. That’s true.”
Jones also said in an interview with ABC that he isn’t worried about Martin’s situation and told ESPN’s Ed Werder that the two sides have “talked.” Martin even texted the Cowboy’s offensive line that he’d “be there soon,” and quarterback Dak Prescott publicly pushed for Martin to make more money.
But Martin is still not there, and the Cowboys have a big decision to make before an important season.