Cowboys' Zack Martin Tests Positive For COVID, Out For Opener Against Bucs

The Dallas Cowboys will be without Zack Martin for Thursday's season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Martin, who is vaccinated, will not be cleared in time to play due to the return-to-play protocols.

The six-time Pro Bowl right guard landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and ESPN's Adam Schefter reports he is the first player this season to be ruled out of a game after testing positive for COVID.

According to the return-to-play protocols, a fully vaccinated player can return to play in five days if he does not have symptoms following two negative tests separated by 24 hours. An unvaccinated player faces at least a 10-day quarantine.

"He's frustrated obviously," coach Mike McCarthy said, per ESPN. "But, hey, this is the world we live in right now."

ESPN reports the loss of Martin is a huge blow for an offense that did not take a snap together in the preseason.

The Cowboys held out quarterback Dak Prescott because of a shoulder strain and will face a Buccaneers' run defense that was the best in the NFL last season.