Zack Martin 'fine' with Manziel burden in Dallas

Zack Martin 'fine' with Manziel burden in Dallas
May 9, 2014, 12:45 pm
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It all seemed to be falling into place last night in New York: Johnny Manziel was still on the board, and Jerry Jones was just crazy enough to take him with the 16th pick of the NFL Draft.

The state of Texas' most successful and polarizing player in the NFL Draft would wind up playing for Dallas, turning the Cowboys into a media circus that would be entirely fitting for the franchise.

Instead, the Cowboys went with Zack Martin, the ever-reliable offensive lineman from Notre Dame. Martin's not flashy, the kind of guy who'll get name-dropped in Drake lyrics. He won't generate much buzz in Texas, even if all signs point to him having a long, successful NFL career ahead of him.

With Manziel available and the Cowboys passing on him, perhaps there's some pressure on Martin to succeed — especially if Manziel succeeds in Cleveland. But Martin never was one to succumb to pressure at Notre Dame, and it doesn't sound like that'll be the case in Dallas.

"That’s fine by me," Martin said on a conference call with Dallas reporters of being the guy the Cowboys picked instead of Manziel. "I can live up to that."

[MORE: Zack Martin draft profile]

While Martin started all 52 of Notre Dame's game's from 2010-2013 at tackle, he has the versatility to play guard — which made him an attractive enough target to be the fourth offensive lineman off the board Thursday night. Martin did say the Cowboys talked with him specifically about playing guard, though it's too early to know where he'll ultimately end up.

Wherever it might be, Martin said he's ready to step in and battle to win a starting job.

"I’m looking to come in here and compete and I want to come in there and compete from day one," Martin said, "so obviously I want to come in there and be on the field and help the team win."