In Bennett's rookie season, he and Romo hooked up for 4 touchdowns, but that early synergy disintegrated over the next three seasons. Romo favored the more seasoned Jason Witten in the passing game and Bennett became practically invisible. There were no more touchdowns and only 65 receptions over his final three seasons in Dallas.
When Bennett became eligible for free agency this past winter, the Giants swooped in and signed him almost immediately. He was brought in to defray the losses of Jake Ballard and Travis Beckum, who both tore ACLs in the Super Bowl.
Many felt that Bennett was a bust, a waste of time. He wasn't dedicated to his career, didn't bust it most of the time in practice and talked way too much. Not Giant material. Rubbish, said GM Jerry Reese. He signed him to a one-year "show-me" contract. This guy had talent four years ago when he came out of Texas A&M. That talent has to still be in there somewhere....
Tom Coughlin agreed:
“What you have is a talented athlete who played behind an all-pro. Who is not very satisfied, is not very fulfilled, is anxious. He is anxious to prove the quality of athlete and football player that he can be. If you go back to ’08, '09, '10, '11, you can see spots where he flashes as what he could be. He feels like he hasn’t scratched the surface of what he can do. And he’s a young, aspiring, athletic tight end who can run. He’ll be up the seams at 6-6, 265. He can run up the seams with speed and be up over the top of a lot of people. So we’re excited about that. He’s got a ways to go, but he’ll work at it. This could be a terrific move for both him and us.”
Through seven games this season, Bennett has already has more yards than he had in his best season in Dallas and with one more TD, he will match his career total of 4. As the Giants descend on the Big D this weekend, Bennett has no ill will or axe to grind. He is a Giant now and has nothing to prove to anyone, he told the media today, except the Giants.
How much are you looking forward to showing the Cowboys what they’re missing out on?I have nothing to show the Cowboys or anything like that. All my emotions are to this organization and to the things that we’re trying to build and relationships I’m trying to build with these guys here, so I have nothing to show them. I have nothing to show to anybody else outside this organization and myself.
Talk about the opportunity to put the Cowboys in the rearview mirror. Are you guys relishing that opportunity?
It’s a big opportunity for us to take over the division and that’s the number one thing for us trying to create a path for ourselves to get to where we want to be, which the ultimate goal is the Super Bowl. So this is a big step. They’re in the way, so we’ve got to go down there and go through them and make sure we come back with a win.
How is your Giants career going so far?
I enjoy it. I think there’s a lot of room for me to improve. I’m not where I want to be. I’ll probably never be the tight end that I want to be because my goals are kind of set high and my standards are high. So it’s just a learning process and continuing to grow as a player and be exactly what they need me to be here.
You didn’t circle this game on your calendar?
No. I don’t circle any games on my calendar; they’re all the same.
Did you see Jerry Jones after the first game this year?Yeah, I did. I’ll probably call him later on. His mom passed away and Jerry is a great guy and I just want to reach out to him and send my condolences to him and his family. He was always an awesome person to me, so it was sad to hear. I’ll probably give him a call this afternoon.