The Cowboys nabbed Martellus Bennett in the second round of the 2008 draft with hopes that the 6-foot-6 tight end would be good to have on the other side of the formation from Pro Bowler Jason Witten. That never really came to pass, and Bennett was written off as a disappointment.
It was a surprise, then, when Bennett, having signed with the New York Giants during the off-season, began playing extremely well. He caught two touchdowns during his first two games, two more than he caught over the previous three years, and racked up a respectable 112 yards.
So while sportswriters here second-guess the Cowboys' decision to let Bennett get away, Giants fans are trumpeting their vision for plucking a gem from their arch-rival's grasp.
Let's be honest, though. As physically talented and lovably irreverent as Bennett was, he sucked hard when he was a Cowboy. I'm only a casual fan, but I would cringe when he stepped onto the field, knowing that a dropped pass was a play or two away. Bennett's transformation is a mystery. Were there injuries? Was he just not focused? Was it the team's chemistry?
In Dallas, Bennett says, he never was truly at ease.
People would say to him, "'You're a metrosexual' because I dress nicely or because my favorite thing to take pictures of is our outfits," Bennett says. "I like art, photography, film -- all that creativity."
He hesitates before saying, "I don't think people here are as judgmental as back in Texas."
He laughs because he knows he is not alone here. New York is filled with people who wear fedoras, filled with people who crave color and culture and something more than 8 yards on third-and-7. In New York, there are visionary architects everywhere.
Bennett reaches the car. "It's one of the first places I've been in my life," he says, hand on the door handle, "where I really, honestly, feel like I belong."
Marty B is obviously 100-percent right. There are no metrosexuals in Dallas, and we hate creativity almost as much as we love football. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm happy that Bennett has found success and inner peace with the Giants. He deserves it. But let's just see how welcoming New York feels when he starts dropping those third-and-7 passes.
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