Bennett finds end zone in first game

September, 6, 2012
9/06/12
2:19
AM ET
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- There weren't many bright spots in the Giants' season-opening loss to the Cowboys on Wednesday night.

One of the few was Martellus Bennett.

The Giants' new starting tight end was targeted six times by quarterback Eli Manning, hauling in four passes for 40 yards -- including a fourth-quarter touchdown that brought the Giants within one score, 24-17.

[+] EnlargeMartellus Bennett
Jim O'Connor/US PRESSWIRETight end Martellus Bennett found the end zone in his first game as a Giant.
"I think it’s one of many," said Bennett of the TD grab. "Great read, great throw. Eli threw the ball up there, and I had to go make a play. (I was) fortunate enough to get both feet inbounds."

The 25-year-old Bennett signed with the Giants this spring, after spending the first four seasons of his NFL career with the Cowboys, who drafted him out of Texas A&M in the second round back in 2008.

Bennett was stuck behind perennial Pro Bowler Jason Witten on the depth chart in Dallas. But the Giants have given him an opportunity to be their primary tight end, with Jake Ballard now on the Patriots and Travis Beckum still recovering from a knee injury suffered in last year's Super Bowl.

"It was more about opening day for the New York Giants for me," said Bennett, when asked about facing his former team. "It’s a chance for me to start off the right way with this team."

"Playing against the Cowboys was just icing on the cake," he added.

Bennett caught 85 passes in four years with the Cowboys, including a career-high 33 back in 2010. But he hadn't found the end zone since his rookie season of 2008, when he scored four touchdowns.

The Giants hope Bennett's debut with Big Blue was a sign of things to come.

"The outcome wasn’t (the) one that we wanted," said Bennett, "but there’s a lot of things we can work on."
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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