While the Dallas Cowboys had some major acquisitions during the recent offseason, they also lost a few players. One departure was tight end Martellus Bennett, who signed a one year contract with the rival New York Giants. The Giants are excited and happy to have Bennett joining the team. Almost as happy and excited as Cowboys fans are to see him go.
Bennett was recently tabbed as the leading candidate to have a breakout season for the Giants by Bryan McIntyre at NFL.com. While this may elicit a few snickers among Cowboys fans who became weary of his dropped passes, distracting antics, and general failure to live up to the second-round draft pick the team spent on him, McIntyre also tabbed Tyron Smith as the Cowboys' best bet for a breakout player, so he does have a certain eye for talent. But there are still some questions about Bennett, such as his reporting at 291 pounds, and the guys over at our sister SBN site BigBlueView are less than 100% convinced.
Bennett certainly feels like he is in a better position. During a recent Q&A with a paper in the Giant's physical home state of New Jersey, he talked about his new team. And, as Calvin Watkins noted at ESPN DFW, he also seemed to take a few indirect shots at Tony Romo.
Did you have as many options in Dallas?
(Grins) No, I didn't have any options in Dallas. (Laughs)
Later in the Q&A, Bennett said Manning was unselfish and was asked to elaborate.
Just his approach. I mean, he's just looking for the open guy. It doesn't matter who it is or what number you are. If you're open, he's going to hit you. You have to be ready. That's what makes it so fun playing in this offense because anytime you beat your guy, you know you could get the ball.
After reading that, do I think this needs a response and a defense of Tony Romo. No. Am I going to respond, just because it looks like too much fun to pass up?
I think we all know the answer to that.
Join in the frivoloty after the jump.
I can honestly say that for the first three years of Bennett's career in Dallas, I was one of the people who kept waiting for him to have his breakout year. But even an Aggie will learn after repeatedly seeing crappy performances to quit expecting things to change. By the time he signed his deal with the Giants, I was just as glad as anyone to see him go. It was the perfect solution in my eyes, getting rid of an anchor that was slowing the Cowboys' offense down by tying it to a division rival. And they volunteered. What a deal!
The main thing that Bennett seems to harp on is that Romo did not want to look for him in pass routes. As I have mentioned before, perspective is an important thing in situations like this. Where Bennett saw a quarterback who was playing favorites, many others saw a quarterback who was tired of seeing very catchable passes dropped or tipped into the hands of defenders. It didn't help, as Watkins also noted, that Bennett's whole argument seemed reminiscent of another former Cowboys wide receiver who accused Tony of playing favorites.
Terrell Owens said the same thing.
Maybe it's just me, but agreeing with TO is not the most ringing endorsement of someone's judgement. I also have to take some issue with the statements Watkins made to wrap up his article.
Bennett, however, is a talented player but needed a change of scenery, and that's why the Cowboys didn't offer him a deal when he became a free agent this spring.
The New York Giants were the perfect place for him, and now he'll get a chance to show what he's capable of.
"Talented" is more than just physical skill. It also encompasses mental discipline, motivation, and how you approach the game. Outside of his physical traits, Bennett has exhibited very few of the things that go together to make a successful NFL player.
I would like to say I wish Martellus well with his new team, but I think you would recognize how dishonest that would be. First, I have developed a serious lack of respect for him because he has behaved immaturely and never delivered what the team needed from him. He was an outstanding blocker, but that was too one-dimensional for a second-round pick. And I am never impressed by someone who points to others for his shortcomings and says nothing about what he may have done to contribute to the problem, or what he needs to improve. And if he does not understand why Romo might prefer to pass to a player like Jason Witten instead of him, that speaks for itself.
In the grand scheme of things, this really is of the significance of a buzzing gnat, irritating but of no real import. It it also an indication that a major part of the Cowboys being willing to part ways with Bennett was that he did not fit well with the new culture. A culture that Jason Garrett is putting a lot of effort into establishing and growing. He may well surprise me and have a great year for the Giants - but I seriously doubt it. All I can say honestly is that I'm glad he's Eli Manning's teammate, and not Tony Romo's.