Team History in Quotes: Drafting Terence Newman and Martellus Bennett

I have posted many polls to this site, and while some of them have had 300 or so responses, none has come close to the poll I ran yesterday about whether Terence Newman underachieved in Dallas.

A total of 689 visitors responded to the poll. Of these, 530 (77%) said “yes” while only 142 (21%) said “no.” Sixteen either did not answer or stated another response.

In 2003, most viewed the Dallas draft as a success. Here are a couple of quotes from the time of the draft.

“A second straight good draft could spell big things for Dallas this season and beyond. No. 5 overall Terence Newman is a future Pro Bowler and third-round pick Jason Witten could get there as well. Second-rounder Al Johnson will be the starter at center while fourth-rounder Bradie James could make a spot for himself in the linebacking corps. “

A review by a writer in Corpus Christi. To their credit, Newman, Witten, and James became starters for a long time. Johnson, however, played for three teams in five seasons and was out of the league after 2008.

Source: Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Tuesday, April 29, 2003

“His burst and catch-up speed does remind me of Deion Sanders. What stood out early is his speed at 10 to 20 yards. Then, you look at how he returns punts, his instincts and skill. “

Jerry Jones about Newman, who returned a total of 38 punts during his career in Dallas.

* * *

Martellus Bennett became a member of the New York Giants on Wednesday.

Another underachiever who is no longer with the Cowboys is tight end Martellus Bennett, who signed with the Giants on Wednesday.  The Cowboys needed to take a receiver in 2008 but instead grabbed Bennett, an athletic tight end from Texas A&M. Dallas had created a need a tight end by trading a former draft pick, Anthony Fasano, to the Dolphins.

Some quotes from and regarding Bennett:

“I think this is a good spot for me. Jason Witten is a proven Pro Bowler. I can learn how to be a Pro Bowler.” 

Bennett, who had a total of 85 receptions with Dallas in four seasons. Witten surpassed 85 receptions in both 2009 and 2010.

Source: Houston Chronicle, April 27, 2008

“He’s going to add a dimension to our offense.”

Wade Phillips about Bennett, who turned out to be a decent blocker.

Less Than Commemorative Endings for Williams and Newman

The Cowboys released Terence Newman on Tuesday.

The Dallas Cowboys began their rebuilding process in the early 2000s with high first-round draft picks in 2002 and 2003.  In both drafts, the Cowboys stuck with the Big XII Conference, taking safety Roy Williams of Oklahoma in 2002 and cornerback Terence Newman of Kansas State in 2003.

Williams was an immediate hit, making five consecutive Pro  Bowls. He was a hard-hitting machine who would make receivers think twice about coming over the middle.

It took Newman longer to catch on. He recorded a total of 32 career interceptions but never had more than five in a season. He made two Pro Bowl appearances in 2007 and 2009.

Williams’ fall from grace occurred rather abruptly. The league proscribed the horse-collar tackle largely because of Williams, and he continued to commit the penalty. Around the same time, he also lost the ability to cover. Tight ends and slot receivers would run right in front of him, and Williams would often fail to react. He had a subpar 2007 season (making the Pro Bowl on his name more than anything) before suffering through an injury-plagued campaign in 2008.

Newman was often compared with Deion Sanders, but the comparison was neither fair nor close to accurate. Newman had speed, but he never showed the coverage skills of a top-flight cornerback. He was a good corner, but never better than a good corner.

He had his moments in 2011, but his performances near the end of the season sealed his fate. He often played 12 to 15 yards off the ball, and receivers would eat him alive on shorter routes. He had a chance for a pick-6 against the Giants in December but dropped the ball. He was so dreadful against New York in the rematch in week 17 that most would rather see any of the backups, including Alan Ball.

The poll question below asks whether Terence Newman underachieved as a member of the Cowboys.

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