As Heard On The K&C Masterpiece | 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — Martellus Bennett never made the impact expected after Dallas selected him in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Since leaving Dallas after the 2011 season, he’s quietly become one of the league’s most prolific pass catchers at the position — something the Cowboys will have to deal with on their trip to Chicago this Thursday.

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Bennett has already matched his career high in catches (65) and touchdowns (5), and will likely surpass his career-high in yards (759) this week.

“Here’s a guy that I am so proud of. I’m not proud of the fact that we’ll be facing him here Thursday, but I’m proud of him as a man and as a player,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Tuesday on 105.3 The Fan.

“He’s really evolved into the player that we wanted him to be and thought he could be when he was drafted. He marches to a little different drummer, but he’s a threat.”

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Bennett reeled in 20 receptions for 283 yards and four touchdowns in his rookie season of 2008. In the three successive seasons in Dallas, he failed to match that production.

Some questioned the focus of Bennett while in Dallas, pointing to his creative YouTube videos and controversial quotes.

While many fans were excited to see Bennett depart for New York as a free agent, Jones says he pushed hard to keep the former Aggie in a Cowboys uniform.

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“I couldn’t talk him into staying here. He actually took less money to go to the Giants,” said Jones. “He had pretty much decided it wasn’t going to work for him relative to his being able to grow…He’s one of those that I didn’t want to see leave that did leave.”

Jones says he two or three times opened his home to Bennett, who he describes as an “outside the line painter,” as he tried to harness the talent he saw in Bennett.

“Make no mistake about it, he’s a freak when it comes to talent. I knew that if he could harness that talent. He was probably the best blocking tight end that I’d ever seen.”

Dallas will have its hands full in trying to deal with Bennett, receivers Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall, as well as Matt Forte on Thursday night.

“That’s the strength. That’s the challenge that we’ve got. That’s one of the biggest plusses that Chicago will use.”

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