Preseason isn't priority for Martellus Bennett

ARLINGTON, Texas – Martellus Bennett wants to get his sore ankle completely healthy. He isn't worried about missing preseason games.

Bennett didn’t play in the Hall of Fame Game because the Cowboys wanted him to rest the ankle that sidelined him for the first week of camp. He sat out Tuesday’s practice and doesn’t seem concerned with whether he’ll play Thursday night against the Oakland Raiders.

“What really counts is the season,” Bennett said. “[Beep], I had a hell of a preseason last year. That [beep] didn’t mean nothing. I had 300 yards or whatever in three games, but that doesn’t mean nothing.

“But what really counts is the season, not the preseason or whatever. I just want to get to the season and do my job.”

Bennett didn’t do his job nearly as well as anticipated last season. He looked like a blossoming star during training camp and the preseason, but he produced only 15 catches for 159 yards and no touchdowns when it counted.

“I get scraps, you know,” Bennett said, referring to his role in the offense.

That probably wouldn’t be the case if Bennett ran precise routes on a consistent basis. He admits to not doing that last season, saying he would occasionally break routes off early because he was pressing. He said he’ll be more relaxed this season, a statement that could get mixed reviews considering that he’s a dude who has been accused of being lackadaisical.

Bennett, who faces no competition for the No. 2 tight end role with John Phillips out for the year, said the expectations weren’t too high last season. He just didn’t reach them, for whatever reason.

So, should the expectations be just as high this season?

“Y’all should have something,” Bennett said. “I’m not out here for no reason. The season didn’t go the way I wanted it to last year, but this here is a whole other season.

“I worked three times as hard as I ever worked in the offseason – on the field, off the field, film room, whatever it is. I’m just grinding right now.”