May 9, 2014, 12:45 AM EDT
After a long drought, Notre Dame’s recent success in the first round continued with Zack Martin. The former Irish offensive lineman was taken 16th overall by the Dallas Cowboys, Notre Dame’s fourth first rounder in the last three years.
Martin is the earliest Notre Dame offensive lineman drafted in 25 years, since Andy Heck was taken 15th overall in 1989. He’s Notre Dame’s 13th offensive lineman in school history that’s been taken in the first round, with Jeff Faine the last in 2003.
Martin was the fourth offensive tackle taken in the draft, though the Cowboys could play him at guard as well. The fact that Jerry Jones selected Martin over Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel was telling, and the pick has been universally praised by draft analysts everywhere.
Martin started 52 straight games for the Irish in his career, a school record. He was a two-time captain, only the 18th in the program’s history. Martin is the school’s only lineman to win lineman of the year more than twice, winning it all four years he played.