Michael Bennett arrived in Dallas 33 days ago. Yet, the defensive lineman is one of the few players in the Cowboys’ locker room that has the jewelry to do what he did after Thursday’s game.
His screaming began even before every player had entered the locker room.
Bennett was not wishing his teammates a Happy Thanksgiving as his voice carried outside the locker room, where reporters were waiting. A security guard quickly closed the locker room doors to muffle Bennett’s raised voice.
Bennett, 34, has played in 12 postseason games, including two Super Bowls. He made two tackles in the Seahawks’ victory over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
“The champions are the people that get remembered,” Bennett said when asked about his message, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “They don’t remember who got the biggest contract. A whole bunch of great players got great contracts, but they don’t get remembered as champions. Champions are the ones who get the gold plates and the jackets and they understand what it takes to win. That’s just a certain mindset. That’s just a certain ability to play tough in adverse moments.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who has three Super Bowl rings but none since 1995, also spoke to the team after their 26-15 loss to the Bills.
“Everybody in there that had anything to say have earned the right to say it,” Jones said. “You didn’t have anybody period that didn’t have the right to express themselves.”
The Cowboys remain in first place in the NFC East despite a 6-6 record. They have the Bears, Rams, Eagles and Washington remaining.
Bennett’s message was well received, according to Dak Prescott.
“It’s important that we understand that it’s a small window that we have,” Bennett said, via Gehlken. “We’ve got all the great players. The only thing we’ve got to do is execute in adversity. The enemy against greatness is the unwillingness to change. We’ve got to be able to change some of the things that we’ve been doing to demand more from ourselves and become the people we want to be.
“Every opportunity is in front of us, but it’s just on us to capitalize. To win, you’ve got to sacrifice a lot. It’s going to hurt. It’s painful. You play through injury, but you do it because you have to. To win that championship, to win that Lombardi, there’s no feeling like that. And that takes a lot.”