The Dallas Cowboys Extending Trevon Diggs Further Complicates Zack Martin Situation

By: Anthony Miller

With Dallas Cowboys training camp officially beginning, the team was able to take care of one of their players’ long terms but leave one of their offensive linemen out in limbo.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday that the Dallas Cowboys and cornerback Trevon Diggs agreed to a five-year, $97 million extension. The deal includes a signing bonus of $21.25 million and the contract can be worth up to $104 million with incentives. Diggs’ now $19.4 million per year average ranks in the top five in the NFL among cornerbacks. He was coming up on the last year of the rookie contract he signed when Diggs was drafted by Dallas in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The move is on the heels of news that All-Pro offensive lineman Zack Martin was going to sit out of training camp. Martin is seeking a new contract from the Cowboys as he is no longer in the top five highest-paid offensive linemen in the NFL. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did not comment on the status of Martin’s contract situation when the media asked him this week.

Locking Trevon Diggs Secures Their Top Corner for Years

Photo via Sam Hodde/Getty Images

There’s no denying the improvement and growth of Diggs has instantly made him one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL at the age of 24. In just three seasons, he has already made two Pro Bowls in 2021 and 2022. He led the NFL in interceptions in 2021 with 11 and returned two of them for touchdowns. Diggs was also selected as an All-Pro in 2021.

There are moments where Diggs is prone to giving up big plays, but that improved last season and he has a nose for breaking up passes and creating turnovers. 17 interceptions in three seasons are about as good of a start to a career as a corner can have. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn has been a big help in his development, making him one of the top corners in the league.

This was an important move for the Cowboys moving forward in the future as they locked up a key piece to their defense. Diggs will only get better from here as he should be paired with Micah Parsons for the long term. What remains to be answered is whether Dallas can continue their success of drafting top defensive players on their roster to build around those two players.

Extending Diggs Could Come at The Cost of Zack Martin

Photo via Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The unfortunate part of this move is it comes at a bad time for a player like Zack Martin who wants a new contract. Martin is wanting his contract to be restructured to make more money. He has been a First-Team All-Pro six times and made eight Pro Bowls. With him not showing up to training camp, he is looking at fines of $50,000 every day he doesn’t report to camp.

His current contract has him with the Cowboys for two more seasons and set to make $13.5 million this year and $13 million next season. Martin’s contract is $7 million off the top-paid offensive linemen in the NFL. The top-paid offensive linemen are Atlanta’s Chris Lindstrom and Indianapolis’ Quenton Nelson as they are getting over $20 million a season.

Some could see it as a positive as it shows the Cowboys are willing to pay their top players and value how important they are to the franchise. Even if it takes some time, Dallas is always going to work a deal out with their top players. They have worked with Martin before on his contracts and there haven’t been many signs showing they won’t do it.

The flip side to the argument is the team knew Martin’s situation was more urgent as Diggs hadn’t expressed any concerns about his contract situation. Dallas knew that if a new deal with Martin wasn’t worked out that he might sit out. It is now a reality for the team as Martin didn’t report and will lose important reps to prepare for the season.

Martin not showing up doesn’t mean it is the end of his time there. It just means that either Dallas needs to move quickly to get him a new deal and back in camp or Martin plays this season out and figures it out next offseason. There is the possibility he just sits out the whole season but seems unlikely he takes that route. Regardless, a resolution is needed quickly to remove the distraction and set the team up for a successful season.

Featured Image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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