NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Former University of Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin was selected with the 16th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and was the first Fighting Irish player taken in this year's draft. He became the 64th former Notre Dame player to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Martin is the highest drafted Irish offensive lineman since the Seattle Seahawks chose Andy Heck with the 15th pick of the 1989 draft. He is the first Notre Dame offensive lineman selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since Jeff Faine was chosen by the Cleveland Browns with the 21st pick of the 2003 draft.
Martin is the 13th offensive lineman in school history to be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft. In addition Heck and Faine, 10 other Irish offensive lineman have been chosen in the first round, including Frank Szymanski (sixth overall by the Detroit Lions in 1945), George Connor (fifth overall by the New York Giants in 1946), Bill Fischer (10th overall by the Chicago Cardinals in 1949), Art Hunter (third overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1954), Frank Varrichione (sixth overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1955), Paul Seiler (12th overall by the New York Jets in 1967), Tom Regner (23rd overall by the Houston Oilers in 1967), George Kunz (second overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 1969), Aaron Taylor (16th overall by the Green Bay Packers in 1994) and Luke Petitgout (19th overall by the New York Giants in 1999).
Martin becomes the ninth Notre Dame player ever drafted by the Dallas Cowboys and first since Sam Young in the sixth round of the 2010 draft.
Martin, one of 18 two-time captains in Irish football history, started a school-record 52 consecutive games over his career. He finished third on Notre Dame's chart for most career wins as a starter (37). A four-time selection as Notre Dame's top offensive lineman, Martin was also named the 2013 New Era Pinstripe Bowl Most Valuable Player. He was the first offensive lineman in the country to be named the sole MVP of a bowl game since center Jay Huffman of Penn State was awarded MVP of the inaugural Liberty Bowl on Dec. 19, 1959.
Martin, who was named the 2014 Senior Bowl Top Offensive Lineman, was the undeniable leader of the 2013 Notre Dame offensive line that allowed just eight sacks and ranked second in the Football Bowl Subdivision in fewest sacks allowed. He also provided immeasurable leadership to a unit that finished the year with four first-year starters in the lineup.
Martin faced the nation's best week-in and week-out in 2013 and simply dominated. Kyle Van Noy (BYU), Shilique Calhoun (Michigan State), Leonard Williams (USC), Frank Clark (Michigan), Trent Murphy (Stanford), Darius Hamilton (Rutgers) and Charles Tapper (Oklahoma) combined for 101 TFLs and 47 sacks last season. Martin limited those seven players to a total of 5.0 TFLs and no sacks. Van Noy, Calhoun, Williams and Murphy were all named All-Americans by at least one publication.
IN THE IRISH RECORD BOOKS-- Career Starts (2010-13, 52, 1st)
-- Career Consecutive Starts (2010-13, 52, 1st)
-- Career Wins as a Starter (2010-13, 37, 3rd)
-- Notre Dame Tri-Captain (2013)
-- New Era Pinstripe Bowl Most Valuable Player (2013)
-- ESPN.com All-Bowl Team (2013-14)
-- 2014 Senior Bowl Game Top Offensive Lineman
-- College Sports Madness Third Team All-American (2013)
-- Phil Steele Fourth Team All-American (2013)
-- Walter Camp Second Team All-American (2012)
-- Phil Steele Fourth Team All-American (2012)
-- Notre Dame Guardian Life Insurance Guardian of the Year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)