Training Camp Memories: Jamar Martin’s Career-Altering Injury
Like quarterbacks, the position of fullback has been one which the Cowboys have seldom taken notice of on draft day during this century. Seeing rookie fullback Chris Gronkowski miss a block that led to Tony Romo’s season-ending injury in 2010 might help explain why. Seemingly, fullbacks are no longer needed in Dallas, or the NFL for that matter.
But, was there actually one whom Dallas drafted that was actually worth having? Seeing as how it was Jerry Jones who made the selection, it would likely surprise the reader to discover the answer lies in the affirmative.
The year was 2002, a season in which many budding positives would ultimately be rendered negative by a season-long quarterback tussle that split the Dallas locker room down the middle. Yes, Jerry was to blame in large part for that mess, but not with this single unfortunate event.
It was no secret that the Cowboys had been in need of a fullback since Daryl “Moose” Johnston retired following the 1999 campaign. Robert Thomas had been sub-par as a lead-blocker for two seasons, and his overtime fumble against Philadelphia in 2000 still didn’t sit well with coaches. So Jones and head coach Dave Campo tried to remedy the solution by selecting Ohio State wrecking ball Jamar Martin in the fourth round of April’s draft.
When Martin took to the field in training camp, it was apparent that he was one rookie worth keeping an eye on. A punishing blocker in the hole, Martin was piling up one pancake block after another. Well on his way to earning a roster spot, Martin found his career suddenly in jeopardy when he tore his ACL, and was placed on the team’s injured reserve list.
And though he joined the Cowboys for training camp the following August, Martin was not the same explosive player as before, and found himself unemployed shortly thereafter.