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Michael Bennett was the player yelling in the Cowboys’ locker room

Michael Bennett, Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are playing unacceptably bad football, and their defense didn’t thrive against the Buffalo Bills. That includes Michael Bennett.

The Cowboys and Bennett should be better than they are. After they lost to the Bills, 26-15, on Thanksgiving Day, Clarence Hill of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reported on the Cowboys’ postgame mood:

The source of the yelling in the locker room has been identified.

Michael Bennett, who was part of a cohesive locker room with the Seattle Seahawks and won a Super Bowl with the team, hasn’t seen the Cowboys respond to adversity the way his Seahawk teams did.

Many good athletes are proud individuals, so Bennett is not particularly unique in that sense. What sets Bennett apart is that he has been a member of one of the few NFL teams this decade to make several postseason appearances in a row.

Bennett shouted at his teammates behind closed doors, trying to rally a team which has little margin for error in the month of December after this Thanksgiving loss on home turf.

The optics of this moment will create varied reactions and likely stir debate both in the wider NFL community and among fans of the Cowboys. It is easy to view this as a display of leadership, but just as easy to view it as a “talk is cheap” moment after a bad performance on national television.

What everyone — critics and proponents of Bennett’s actions — can agree on:

Dallas better storm the gates in December, play well, win games, and claim the NFC East title with a 10-6 record.