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Cowboys’ offensive line takes yet another hit with Zack Martin out multiple weeks

Zack Martin, Jerry Jones, Cowboys

The injuries just keep piling up for the Dallas Cowboys.

Pro Bowl offensive guard Zack Martin suffered a calf strain in the team’s 41-16 loss at the hands of the Washington Football Team on Thursday. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Martin is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, which could effectively end his season if the Cowboys cannot make a move in the NFC East standings.

Martin was essentially the last of the starters still remaining up front.

The Cowboys’ offensive line has been down and out for some time. La’el Collins will not play after undergoing hip surgery, and star tackle Tyron Smith is also done for the year after having neck surgery. Both injuries came after veteran center Travis Frederick abruptly announced he was retiring prior to the start of the season.

Dallas’ injuries up front have loomed large all year, especially in the running game. The Cowboys still rank 17th in the NFL in rushing yards and yards per carry, though such numbers appear somewhat underwhelming considering Ezekiel Elliott is in the backfield.

Martin’s absence will not help matters. The 30-year-old has been named first-team All-Pro four times, including each of the last two seasons. Martin was unquestionably one of the best offensive lineman of the last decade, and he was about the only thing holding the unit together.

Dallas now finds itself struggling for momentum. In fact, the loss to Washington dropped the Cowboys to fourth in the NFC East, at least for now.

Things are only going to get harder for Elliott and Andy Dalton without Martin on the field, and Dallas’ inability to score could cost them any hopes of making a playoff run.