Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett is keeping himself in shape in the lull following a month of player-led workouts. After posing a question earlier in the offseason about a quarterback competition, Bennett took flak from a lot of fans. That statement was softened by head coach Jason Garrett's quip that all players need competition to get the best performance out of them. Bennett himself is expected to see some competition for his playing time with the return of the legendary John Phillips from injury. That is in jest, as Phillips has inherited the backup quarterback syndrome; when a player with a limited sample size is projected to future greatness a tad prematurely. According to DMN.com, Bennett has been training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney, TX.
The Texas A&M product has even added boxing to his conditioning regimen.
"I've been trying to stay sexy," he joked before a celebrity basketball game at the P.C. Cobb Complex in Dallas on Saturday.
Bennett confirmed that he and his Cowboys teammates worked out for a month at an undisclosed location. He added that he has also worked with Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo and reserve quarterback Stephen McGee when Romo is not around.
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"Our playbook is so detailed, so for the most part, we've been getting together. Romo's doing a great job. Everybody's been doing a great job communicating with each other and staying in touch with each other, even if it's just to hang out."
Bennett was recently named the third best tight end over the last three years in pass blocking efficiency, according to Pro Football Focus. The metric is as follows:
Pass Blocking Efficiency formula looks at sacks, hits, and hurries, weighing those hurries and hits as three quarters the worth of a sack (as our grading reflects). So the formula looks like this:
((Sacks + (0.75 * Hits) + (0.75 * Hurries)) / Pass Pro Snaps) * 100
According to the website, Bennett has been kept in to block on 154 pass attempts since the start of the 2008 season, only giving up five sacks and accruing a PBE rating of 2.44. The margin between he and the fourth place finisher, over 1, is larger than any other gap in the league. Suffice to say he is an upper echelon pass blocker. The pass catching aspect of his game is what has led to frustration for some Cowboys fans, as Bennett also ranks highly in drop rates for tight ends. PFF.com ranks him in the bottom five of the league, crediting him with dropping over 13% of catchable targets.
It's a good sign that the recent newlywed is focused on returning strong once the lockout ends. With the truncated offseason, the Cowboys will rely heavily on the improvement of their young veterans. For his part, Bennett can't wait for the opportunity. When talking about the positive signs of the lockout coming to a conclusion sometime soon, Bennett said the following.
"They said they should have some type of decision the weekend of the fourth, which is genius if you ask me, because the owners are super smart and we'll be going to camp the same time we usually go to camp," Bennett said. "I think everyone wants us to play, from the owners, to the players. Everyone wants to get this over with. I just can't wait to get back out there with my teammates."