Jerry Jones is excited over Michael Bennett’s arrival to the Lone Star State. Perhaps a little too excited. And too forgetful.
Calling in to 105.3 The Fan on Friday, the Dallas Cowboys‘ owner addressed Thursday’s acquisition of the veteran defensive end, a transaction which cost Jones a 2021 conditional seventh-round NFL draft pick.
A transaction, many feel, is without blemish. For a person, Jones believes, is flawless.
“He’s known as a great locker room personality. There’s nothing negative about him as an individual. … He’s got war daddy in him when he gets on the field. I know that he’ll fit us great,” Jones said, per The Athletic.
Great player? His 65.5 career sacks, three Pro Bowl berths and Super Bowl ring scream “yes.”
Great locker room personality? That’s debatable, especially in Jerry’s universe.
Take away his recent issue in New England, where he was suspended one week for conduct detrimental, which ultimately led to his departure. Take away, as Pro Football Talk noted, his old remark about Lions quarterback Matt Stafford that he strangely tied to the city of Dallas.
“I don’t like Matt Stafford that much,” Bennett said in 2015, per PFT.
“[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.”
Two years ago, almost to the day, Bennett was hypercritical of Jones, whose stance squaring Colin Kaepernick and his protesting of the national anthem — 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,” Bennett 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.”
It’d be unfair to hold Bennett’s past against him at this point in his career. He’s a high-upside, low-risk flier for a club with Super Bowl aspirations, and a defense with a need for his skill set.
But, on the same token, one would be remiss not to point out that Jones’ estimation of Bennett — characteristically inflated — is dredged in revisionist history.
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DeMarcus Lawrence Lauds Bennett Acquisition
Turns out, there’s room for three big-name defensive ends at Cowboys headquarters, after the club stabilized its depth with the 34-year-old (in November) defender.
Assuming the deal is completed — Bennett must pass a physical — he will slide in behind $105 million man DeMarcus Lawrence and current team sack leader Robert Quinn. The former couldn’t be happier.
“Oh man, I think it was an excellent move,” Lawrence said Friday on Good Morning Football. “Just to have that type of energy and that type of player come to the team is tremendous. Ready for him.”
Bennett won’t replace Lawrence or Quinn, but he’s a monster pass-rushing upgrade on DE Tyrone Crawford, who was lost for the season due to a hip injury. As the depth chart is concerned, he should leapfrog rookie defensive lineman Trysten Hill; the Cowboys reportedly were drawn to Bennett’s position flexibility, his ability to play end and tackle.
Familiar with defensive coordinator Kris Richard from their time in Seattle, Bennett will make his Dallas debut on Monday, Nov. 4 when the team returns from its bye to battle the New York Giants.
Dallas Cuts Hamilton in Corresponding Move
To make room for Bennett on the 53-man active roster, the Cowboys on Friday released defensive lineman Justin Hamilton, according to multiple reports.
Inked on Oct. 16, prior to Dallas’ Week 7 game against Philadelphia, an insurance signing following the loss of Crawford, the ex-Eagle was a healthy scratch in his brief stint with the Cowboys. Like Bennett, he also knew Richard from their Seahawks days.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL