I have been pondering the future of Martellus Bennett with the Dallas Cowboys since early in the 2009 season. The Cowboys had spent a great deal of time developing schemes in the offensive game plan to get him involved. But it was obvious in game after game that Martellus wasn't getting the job done. Sure, he did a good job run blocking. But he has to be told where to line up in what seems like every other play. He runs the wrong route on passes or makes the wrong pattern adjustment during the play. And, worst of all, he lost the trust of his quarterback.
When John Phillips started to take the place of Marty B in the passing game I thought it might finally light a fire under him. But listening to his comments to Steve Dennis of CBS in Dallas, it seems as though Martellus believes he is already working hard. That is a scary thought. I have witnessed the work habits of Martellus first hand at training camp. He is a guy who is more interested in playing around and working the crowd then actually focusing on the practice. And during the games you can watch him goof around on the sidelines while other offensive players are discussing adjustments or correcting mistakes.
He is the classic case of a guy who never had to work hard to make it big in sports. He has all the talent in the world but he lacks the work ethic required at the professional level to be successful. I really wonder if he has the mental capacity to succeed at the NFL level based on his enourmous number of mental mistakes throughout the course of each game. I really wonder how it is possible that he has to be told on nearly every other play where to line up. Is he too dumb to remember where to line up or does he lack the focus needed to be successful?
I remember when people were getting on Jason Witten's case during Hard Knocks in 2008 when he was caught telling Martellus that he wasn't going to help him line up every play. At that time it seemed like a rookie struggling to adapt but now it is becoming apparent that this is what Martellus is. Jason Witten seemed to sense the problem early on. Now we can see that Jason was right all along.
Jerry Jones has weighed in on the topic recently. He agreed that Martellus needs to put in more work to succeed at this level. You would think that getting called out in the media by your owner would light a fire under your butt. Not with Martellus. He seems to believe he is already working hard and the coaches need to find better ways to use him. That scares me.
Remember how John Garrett had to constantly ride Martellus during hard knocks in 2008? You shouldn't have to treat a professional football player that way, but I think that is the only way Martellus will listen. I think Martellus lacks the desire needed to reach his potential.
I have reached the point that I am ready for the Cowboys to attempt to trade Martellus for whatever they can get for him. I'm sure some team would be enamoured by his enormous talent and offer a draft pick for him. I would be happy to trade him for a second or third round pick. If the Cowboys can get that for him I think it would be a steal. John Phillips has proven he is on the rise and Martellus' stock is falling fast.
If Martellus stays, he is right, this is the big year for him. We saw promise in his rookie year. But then he actually regressed in year two. I didn't see his problems this year as the classic sophomore slump. His problems seemed to be a lack of mental preparation for the games. We need a new focus from Martellus this season. Save the comments for me about his age. He has been working as a professional football player for two years now. How long should we have to wait for a guy to get it together? We are all hoping for a Super Bowl run this season. That isn't going to happen with guys lining up in the wrong place every other place. And Martellus will have to work hard to earn back the trust of his quarterback. I don't think Tony Romo has trusted Martellus since he ran his stupid spin route instead of the called fade route in the Carolina game.
If it were up to me, Martellus would be shipped out of Dallas ASAP. You don't make comments to the media about changing the offense to fit you when you aren't even working hard to improve. Martellus needs to improve his game and I don't think he sees that. Maybe a ticket out of town will make him finally realize he has to work to take advantage of his natural physical talents.