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The Rise and Rise of Martellus Bennett

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Terrell Owens' departure from Dallas left two voids. There's the on-field void and there's also the buzz factor that, like it or not, has always been a big part of what the Cowboys do. There's been a lot of hand-wringing about how the team would fill those holes, but the answer may have been on the roster all along in Martellus Bennett.

    Let's take the buzziness first. If you've followed Bennett at all this offseason, you know that he doesn't have any problems on that front. From Marty B TV to his entertaining Twitter feed, he's remained in the headlines when no football was going on, and his "moon rocks in my socks" explanation of Monday's minor knee injury makes it clear that his personality hasn't gone away just because the pads have gone on.

    That was the easy part, though. Not being as entertaining as Bennett, as that takes a certain skill set that many people don't have, but it's a fleeting charm if you're just a run of the mill backup tight end. It's looking like Bennett is much more than a new version of Dan Campbell, though.

    There were flashes last season, with four touchdowns and 20 catches in an offense that often had issues moving the ball through the air. Those flashes have become a sustained heat in camp this year where nary a day of practice goes by without Bennett being singled out for praise for acrobatic, athletic catches. That's already got people talking about a two tight end base set for the offense and the matchup nightmares that the 6-foot-5, 265 pound Bennett will give to opposing defenses.

    If that happens, defenses will be stretched thin and offering more space to Jason Witten, Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton and the rest of the skill position players. And all of those questions about who would step up to be the number one receiver would be lost amid the celebration of the multifaceted offensive attack run by Tony Romo.

    Happily, that will also lead to more airtime for Bennett and, double happiness, he'll greet in with a warm, open smile instead of the scowl we associate with the T.O. years.