The Dallas Cowboys are one of football's most decorated organizations. While their Super Bowl drought has lasted longer than anyone could have possibly imagined, their five rings are tied for the second-most in NFL history and they've rostered some of the greatest players the league has ever seen.
Like any franchise, though, the Cowboys have made their fair share of blunders. There are ample examples of talented players that could have been so much more for America's Team if the front office didn't cut bait too early.
Of course, being a general manager isn't easy. Expecting them to have a flawless resume is unrealistic. While we trust them to evaluate talent and cultivate a roster, it's sometimes hard to determine whether a player will realize their full potential with a current version of a team.
With that in mind, here are some examples of players the Cowboys definitely gave up on sooner than they should have.
3. Martellus Bennett
Don't get it twisted: Bennett did himself zero favors with the Cowboys.
Drafted as Jason Witten's backup in 2008, Bennett was portrayed on Hard Knocks as a player who lacked motivation. He also posted controversial videos to YouTube -- his disgraceful "Black Olympics" video might ring a bell -- and drummed up controversy by stating that John Kitna should be given a chance to compete for the starting job after he filled in admirably for an injured Tony Romo in 2010.
While Dallas made Bennett an offer in free agency after the 2011 season, he signed with the rival Giants for the opportunity to start.
Already a developed blocker, Bennett's production as a pass-catcher took off after he left the Cowboys. He caught 55 passes for 625 yards and five touchdowns with New York in 2012 and parlayed that into a three-year, $21 million contract with the Bears.
Bennett enjoyed his best seasons in Chicago, culminating in a Pro Bowl nod in 2014 when he compiled 90 catches for 916 yards and six TDs. He even went on to win a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2016, recording over700 receiving yards and a career-high seven TDs filling in for the injured Rob Gronkowski.