Johnny Manziel was still on the board as the Cowboys' first pick came up, and for a short while, the NFL world held its collective breath. Disappointment arrived, however, when the Cowboys made a sensible, perhaps great move by drafting Notre Dame OL Zack Martin.
I wrote about Martin last month and viewed him as one of the cleanest prospects in this year's draft. Everything he does seems to be fundamentally sound, solid technically and he's effortless in his movement. Watching him pass protect is the thing that jumps off the screen to me -- balance, fluid kick step, easy athleticism, strong hands, solid punch, quick reset ... he's just stable and proficient. He can play both tackle and guard, further adding to his value.
Dallas has bookends in place in Tyron Smith and Doug Free, so perhaps in his rookie year, Martin will start at guard. Wherever he ends up -- I'd guess at left guard next to Smith and second-year center Travis Frederick -- the Cowboys get a solid and highly consistent pass protector and nasty run blocker. At the end of the day, it's an excellent investment because he'll help keep Tony Romo (who's still owed a huge amount of money) upright and better able to distribute the football to his playmakers.