Marty B's mission: Earn Romo's trust

IRVING, Texas – Leave it to Martellus Bennett to turn a mundane topic like his attention to detail, or lack thereof, into a bizarre comparison to a romantic relationship.

“It’s kind of like pleasing a woman,” Bennett said, referring to his attempt to establish a rapport with Tony Romo. “Whatever he likes, that’s what I try to do. Wherever Romo needs me to be, that’s where I try to be.”

Marty B will never be boring, but he understands being predictable could be the key to achieving his immense potential. When he runs a route, he needs to be exactly where Romo expects him to be.

Bennett’s production in the passing game last season (15 catches, 159 yards, no touchdowns) was a major disappointment after he teased with his talent during training camp and the preseason. He didn’t get many opportunities for a simple reason: He failed to earn Romo’s trust.

That’s been Marty B’s mission this offseason. He got as many reps as possible with Romo during the voluntary passing drills before organized team activities began. He’s determined to make sure his half of Double Dynamite, the phrase uttered hundreds of times on ESPN 103.3 while we hyped the two-tight end sets, isn’t a dud again.

Bennett says he runs with routes with a different style than perennial Pro Bowler/model of precision Jason Witten, and that won’t change. That’s fine with tight ends coach John Garrett, as long as Bennett doesn’t pull mid-play surprises on Romo.

“Me and Romo are getting on the same page,” said Bennett, who frequently asks Romo for feedback after running routes in practice. “He knows what’s in my repertoire. Now he knows what I do and what I don’t do.”

Well, it’s still a work in progress. Bennett still occasionally runs sloppy route. He might stop in the wrong spot or round off a 10-yard in cut at about eight yards.

But the Cowboys’ coaches do see progress with Bennett.

His talent has never been a question. The Cowboys thought the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Bennett, who has remarkable athleticism for a man that big, could be a star when they selected him in the second round of the 2008 draft. That opinion hasn’t changed. His potential is frequently displayed on the practice fields, such as his one-handed grab on a low throw Friday morning or his toasting of a safety on a seam route later that practice.

His work ethic, which was reflected in his blocking prowess last season, isn’t a concern. Bennett is a Valley Ranch regular for voluntary workouts, including the strength and conditioning program. He challenged himself this offseason by lifting with the defensive line and running with the skill players.

His knowledge of the playbook isn’t a problem. Bennett didn’t bust many assignments last season. He just didn’t execute well enough, which is why Jerry Jones publicly proclaimed days after the season ended that Bennett needed to be more focused.

“He’s realizing that,” said Garrett, whose buzzwords with Bennett are reliable and dependable. “He’s a naturally smart guy. He’s really improved with his play-after-play concentration, mental toughness and the grinder mentality.

“He’s realized also that everyone wants him to do well and everyone wants him to do it right so he can get the ball in his hands and do some things. He’s got a chance to do some special things.”

It starts with doing the simple things right repeatedly. That’s the way a tight end can win over Romo.