What flew in Seattle and Philadelphia for Michael Bennett is expressly prohibited in Dallas. The veteran defensive end has long been a proponent of social and racial justice, joining former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick (and several others) in protesting the national anthem.
Rather than kneel during The Star-Spangled Banner, as Kaepernick did, Bennett has opted in recent years to stay in the locker room until kickoff. It’s a demonstration that earned him a one-week conduct detrimental suspension — and his eventual departure — from the New England Patriots, who shipped him off for a conditional 2021 seventh-round draft pick.
Such acts weren’t permitted in Bill Belichick’s world. And they surely aren’t allowed in Jerry’s universe, where players are instructed to stand for the anthem.
“I’m satisfied that, in Michael, we’ve got a player who knows how we do it here with the Cowboys,” Jones said Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan, via the Dallas Morning News.
Jones remarks’ seem to counter last week’s questionable statement regarding Bennett. He claimed there’s “nothing negative” about the man who once chided Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford by bizarrely trashing the city of Dallas.
“I don’t like Matt Stafford that much,” Bennett said in 2015, per Pro Football Talk.
“[H]e’s from Dallas and Dallas, they killed the President,” he added. “It’s where JFK, one of the greatest Presidents, died at so I just have a little hatred towards him.”
Not to mention, two years ago, almost to the day, Bennett was hypercritical of Jones, whose stance squaring Kaepernick and his protesting — then the NFL’s biggest controversy — he termed “crazy.”
“It reminded me of the Dred Scott case: You’re property, so you don’t have the ability to be a person first,” he said in 2017 while playing for the Seattle Seahawks, per ESPN.com. “I think that in this generation, I think that sends the wrong message to young kids and young people all across the world that your employer doesn’t see you as a human being, they see you as a piece of property, and if that’s the case, then I don’t get it. I just don’t get why you don’t see us as human beings first.”
Bennett is expected to make his Cowboys debut on Monday Night Football against the New York Giants. The cameras no doubt will be on him. And Bennett, the hope is, will be standing.
“We don’t anticipate that being an issue. We’re excited to have him here. … We anticipate him doing what all of our players do,” head coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday, per the DMN.
Follow the Heavy on Cowboys Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors, and content!
Bennett Practices With Dallas for First Time [LOOK]
The deal is official; Bennett passed his entry physical and was assigned a new jersey number — No. 79 — upon arriving at The Star. On Tuesday, the Cowboys returned from their bye week for a light practice ahead of Monday’s showdown, and Bennett was on the field.
This is the first time in Bennett’s career that he will rock 79. He was No. 91 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, No. 72 with the Seattle Seahawks, and No. 77 with the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.
New Teammates Discuss Bennett’s Arrival
They haven’t had much interaction with the soon-to-be 34-year-old Bennett, but a few notable Cowboys like what they see, and what the former Super Bowl champion brings to an already loaded defense.
“He just brings energy,” linebacker Leighton Vander Esch said, per NFL Network’s Jane Slater. “He’s radiant so I love that about him and he’s going to bring even more energy like that to our defense and its what we need. We love guys like that.”
“ At least right now he seems pretty quiet…from the first second he clicked right in,” DE Robert Quinn said, per Brianna Dix of D210Sports. “Everyone welcomed him with open arms. Like I said, his resume speaks for itself-his talent…so come Monday we have to put on our best show.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL