Frisco -- Although he wasn't a full participant on this day Cowboys all-pro guard Zack Martin was front and center. Head coach Jason Garrett called him up to lead the team in their daily jumping jacks routine.
Taking that leadership role is a small honor and with Martin's return to the field, it was an obvious-but-fitting choice by Garrett.
"He mentioned something about that," said Martin, who repeatedly said how happy he was to be back.
Martin ending his friendly holdout, after skipping all of the work the Cowboys did in nine practices sessions held during the three week period of organized team activities. Martin still hasn't signed a new deal but says he's pleased with the progress.
"If you would have asked me I would have never thought I'd be the guy holding out," said Martin. "We had talked a lot about it. I'll just say after this weekend I felt comfortable about coming."
You'd be comfortable, too. The deal could reportedly be worth as much as 80-million over 6 years. Getting the dollar figures just right has taken time because the Cowboys are Martin are setting the market, with Martin widely considered the best in the business at his position.
His new contract will be the highest ever for a guard in the NFL, but it's an easy check to write because Zack Martin embodies all that the Cowboys want to be.
"He's one of those guys that we use as an example with our team a lot about just how he plays. He always finishes through the whistle," said Garrett. "There's always a last shove. There's always a competitive fight right at the end of the down."
Martin didn't take place in team drills as he will ease his way back into the work and wait to put pen to paper before going all out.
"The hardest part was not being around the guys every day and coming in and working out and having to leave before you see all those guys," said Martin. "Kinda going a little stir crazy at home but it feels good to be back."
You can say that for everyone involved. He's a foundational piece. The kind of football building block that every NFL team craves.
So, it was just a matter of time before the two sides would agree on his new deal, especially given Martin's public stance that he wanted to come back.
The Cowboys want Martin to take even more of a leadership role. So much so that this offseason Martin had his locked moved to the spot previously occupied by Jason Witten. A move Martin called, "a nice surprise.
"He's everything you dream in a football player," gushes new offensive line coach Paul Alexander. "Not only is he a great player. He's got the attitude of a warrior."
And that type of mentality is exactly what the Cowboys need out of Martin and his closest buddies on the team. The club's success this season figures to be predicated on a running game that relies on Martin and fellow All-Pro performers and fellow offensive linemen Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick to set the tone.
"We do believe championships are won on the offensive and defensive lines that's where it starts," said Garrett
So, perhaps why this day started with Garrett calling on Martin to step in front of the team and lead.
He's a player the Cowboys consider to be money in the bank. And soon enough, in NFL terms, he'll have his fair share.