- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – How many more opportunities will Martellus Bennett get with the Cowboys?
Jason Garrett responded to that question by pointing out that the backup tight end isn’t getting many opportunities anyway.
“Martellus is not a guy you would say we feature in the offense,’’ Garrett said. “There are certain things we think he does well that we want to give him a chance to do during the ballgame.
“Certainly you have to take advantage of opportunities, regardless of how many you get, and execute your job within a particular play or scheme. I don’t want to talk too specifically about him, but that’s the approach we’ve got to take.’’
The drop-turned-interception against the Eagles is the latest, most blatant example of a blown opportunity by Bennett. If it’s the last meaningful pass the Cowboys throw to Bennett, it’d be hard to blame the play-caller.
Garrett has mentioned Bennett’s blocking ability while trying to defend him in the past, but the Cowboys had much bigger things in mind when they used a second-round pick on a tight end.
Bennett has the size, speed and athletic ability to be a major weapon in the passing game. Too bad his inability to focus makes all that talent moot.
Bennett has a lot in common with recently released running back Tashard Choice. They’re 2008 draft picks who have regressed in bit roles after openly wondering why they weren’t more involved in the offense.
The difference is the Cowboys would have a hole on the roster if they got rid of Bennett. They’d need to find a third tight end off the streets. They had two young running backs ready when they cut Choice, whose hamstring injury made the decision easy.
So the Cowboys will probably keep Bennett for the remaining couple of months of his rookie contract, even though there’s no confidence in his ability to catch the ball. He might as well be considered a third tackle when he reports to the huddle.
On a somewhat related note, Scott Chandler has six touchdown catches this season for the surprising Buffalo Bills, who picked him up off waivers when the Cowboys cut him last year. That’s six more touchdowns than the much more talented Bennett has in the last two and a half seasons.