It probably says something about how much the Cowboys have shifted gears over the last two years that so much time is spent talking about their backup tight end. In the old days, you'd have a lot of big personalities fighting for attention and a guy like Martellus Bennett might have gotten lost in the shuffle.
Okay, that's probably not true. Marty B's desire for attention is so great that he would have found it no matter how much competition he had on the roster. On these calmer, gentler Cowboys, however, he stands out like a sore thumb every time he makes a commotion on Twitter, UStream or whatever other thing the kids are doing these days.
It got to the point last year where it felt like Bennett was simply interested in being famous. If he got famous for being a football player, that would be fine but it wasn't totally necessary. He didn't make good on the great promise held by his athleticism and finished the season as one of the bigger Cowboys disappointments. When a naked shot of him hit the Internet this year, you had to wonder if Marty B just decided to throw caution, among other things, to the wind and go the Kim Kardashian route to celebrity.
Bennett's 2010 preseason debut struck a blow for his football bona fides. He caught four passes for 40 yards and a touchdown on Saturday night and looked every bit the player that everyone hoped he'd be last season. On a team with so many weapons, current struggles be damned, Bennett can be a matchup nightmare for defenses that are already stretched to the brink. Taking advantage of that is almost entirely in his grasp. It will be about running better routes, hitting all of his assignments and making football the priority in his life.
It looked like that was happening Saturday, right up until Bennett scored that touchdown. After he hit the end zone, Marty B unveiled what was clearly a preplanned, choreographed touchdown dance inspired by a Wiz Khalifa video. That made it pretty clear that Bennett isn't all about the football this season, unless you think dreaming up a celebratory shake is an integral part of preseason preperations.
So we're clear, we're totally in favor of touchdown dances in the NFL and we don't have much against coming up with ideas for them before you reach paydirt. It's just that such behavior should be reserved for guys who spend a good bit of their time in the end zone. Bennett didn't score once last season, which means he should be a little more circumspect about getting there during a game that doesn't ultimately mean anything.
The "look at me, love me" thing has to go away until Bennett does enough to warrant people playing close attention to him. The funny thing about that is once he does, people will need a hook in their mouth to get their eyes off of him.
That's what they call killing two birds with one stone, something Bennett will actually need to do if he can't make it happen on the field this season.
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