IRVING, Texas -- When Zack Martin gets to AT&T Stadium, he won’t need directions.
Martin played in the Dallas Cowboys' $1.2 billion stadium last fall when Notre Dame beat Arizona State, and he visited it again before the draft.
“You’ve never seen anything like that before,” Martin said. “It’s just so big and you have the Jumbotron and all that stuff. Obviously it’s a special place to watch a game, and I can’t wait to play in it again.”
For the eighth time in the past 10 years, the Cowboys’ top pick was a player to have visited Valley Ranch before the draft. The only two not to visit have been DeMarcus Ware (2005) and Morris Claiborne (2012).
Martin could not make his originally scheduled visit with the Cowboys because he was meeting with another team, but Jerry Jones made sure the travel department was able to get the offensive lineman to the facility.
“We were out there overlooking the stadium looking at the video board, and it reminded me that when Notre Dame had played there he was in the dressing room and I went down to the dressing room and talked to some players and (Notre Dame head) coach Brian (Kelly) and all of that group,” Jones said. “It was something we really wanted, to have that visit. And make no mistake about it, we have been interested in him as a player.”
Coach Jason Garrett said the visit confirmed everything the Cowboys thought they knew about Martin.
“We bring these guys in and there’s always a philosophy discussion that we have -- who do you want to bring in?” Garrett said. “Do you want to bring in the slam dunk guys who you know are really good people, the kind of people you want on your team, or do you want to bring in maybe the (more dicey) guys to try to find out more about and maybe answer some questions. Philosophically we always bring in a little of both. He certainly fits the bill. We heard nothing but great things about [him]. Whenever anybody had talked to him prior to coming here it was all very, very positive. All that was reaffirmed in his visit.”