Cowboys' Zack Martin to Miss Opener vs. Bucs After Being Placed on COVID-19 List

Adam WellsSeptember 5, 2021

Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Zack Martin during NFL football practice on Saturday, Aug 7, 2021, in Oxnard, Calif. (AP Photo/John McCoy)
AP Photo/John McCoy

The Dallas Cowboys will open the regular season without right guard Zack Martin because of COVID-19 protocols. 

Per ESPN's Todd Archer, Martin will miss Thursday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy told reporters Martin tested positive for the virus. It's not clear if the six-time Pro Bowler has been vaccinated. 

Losing Martin adds to the problems facing Dallas' offensive line going into Week 1. Right Tackle La'el Collins is returning to practice Sunday after missing more than a week with a stinger in his neck. 

However, left tackle Tyron Smith did tell reporters last week "it's been a while since I've felt this good" after he missed 14 games last season because of a neck injury that required surgery. 

According to McCarthy, Connor McGovern will step into Martin's spot against the Bucs. The 23-year-old appeared in 14 games and made eight starts last season. He was a third-round draft pick out of Penn State in 2019 but missed the entire year with a torn pectoral muscle. 

Tampa's defense returns all of its starters from the Super Bowl. The unit tied for fourth in the NFL with 48 sacks during the 2020 regular season. 

The Cowboys and Buccaneers will play the first game of the season Thursday at Raymond James Stadium.