IRVING, Texas --Tight end never seems like a high priority for the Cowboys, mostly because Jason Witten has played at a Pro Bowl level since, oh, around his second year in the league (2004).
It's not a Level 1 priority this year, either, but it's worth noting that backup Martellus Bennett is a free agent. Although Bennett's maturity and production (85 catches) have been criticized since the club drafted him in the second round in 2008, he has been a solid on-the-line blocker on an offense with only so many passes to go around.
There's a feeling around here that there's a pretty good market for the soon-to-be 25-year old Bennett this offseason. The Packers just re-signed Jermichael Finley for two years and $15 million, and the Redskins are considering the franchise tag for Fred Davis.
That leaves guys like Visanthe Shiancoe, John Carlson and Joel Dreessen. Bennett is younger than all three, and only Carlson was drafted as high. Like Anthony Spencer, teams could look at Bennett's talent and say all he needs is a change of scenery to become a more effective player.
Most assume the Cowboys will let Bennett go, particularly if he gets a sizable offer and/or a chance to start elsewhere. Wouldn't totally rule it out, but there is a healthy respect for third tight end John Phillips here. Phillips could move into the No. 2 role and the Cowboys could target a third tight end in the draft or maybe an inexpensive vet in free agency.
Just another position to watch as March looms.