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Cowboys coach Jason Garrett claims Patriots coach Bill Belichick endorsed Michael Bennett

After trading a 2021 seventh-round pick — with the potential of it turning into a sixth-rounder — to the New England Patriots in exchange for pass rusher Michael Bennett, Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is defending the team’s acquisition.

Garrett says Patriots head coach Bill Belichick endorsed the move:

Bennett, 33, had a relatively quiet tenure with the Patriots, racking up 2.5 sacks. But a move to the Lone Star State could be a bigger opportunity for Bennett.

Dallas made the deal for Bennett after losing defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford for the season with a hip injury. Bennett excels in the 4-3 scheme that Dallas runs.

Bennett isn’t a major cap hit for the team, as he is only owed slightly over $3.5 million this season.

The Cowboys’ defensive line hasn’t produced as much pressure and sacks as anticipated, especially with a $100 million player in DeMarcus Lawrence on the line. The team is ranked 20th in sacks with a mere 17 through eight weeks.

Lawrence only has 3.5 sacks this season, a major drop-off from his 10.5 last season and 14.5 the year prior to that. Free-agent acquisition Robert Quinn is tallying more sacks than Lawrence with six.

Garrett also addressed Bennett staying in the locker room during the national anthem:

Outside of the team coming together and kneeling during a 2017 prime-time game against the Arizona Cardinals, the Cowboys have stayed away from the controversy surrounding kneeling during the anthem.

According to NFL policy, Bennett has the right to stay in the locker room during the anthem.