DENVER - OCTOBER 04: Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys makes a reception against the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on October 4, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys 17-10. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Coming out of training camp, the word around Valley Ranch that the much publicized two-tight end set would bring a new efficiency to the Cowboys' offense; the idea that Martellus Bennett and Jason Witten--two immensely gifted athletes--sharing the field was a nice one, after all.
Jerry Jones had this in mind when he drafted Bennett two years ago, and insisted that he was not a "back-up."
That Bennett has only four catches for forty yards is somewhat surprising; he was, by all accounts, one of the top performers in training camp, and seemed primed to break out in 2009. (This was a popular preseason prediction, both locally and nationally).
Somewhat unsurprising is that Witten leads the team in catches with 23--which is more than Patrick Crayton and Roy Williams, combined.
Still, the sets haven't really produced any palpable, sustained results as of yet. Witten's production doesn't signal any great change; in fact, at this point last season, Witten had 27 catches.
Bennett remains more of an asset as a blocker than a receiver, which is fine, but not really the talent for which he was drafted. It seems that much work remains to be done, for Dallas, on the way to milking the considerable talent at the tight end position more completely.
(One suggestion: With two plays left, maybe, just maybe, use Witten as a receiver and not a blocker. Just saying.)
"I know expectations were high," Witten said, in Friday's Dallas Morning News. "Some of that was media driven, but we have a high standard for what we're doing. Hopefully, we can continue to build on it."