Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett believes his team could benefit from having an open competition at every position, including quarterback, where Tony Romo has been entrenched as the starter since 2006.
Injuries have sidelined Romo for 13 games during that time, including the final 10 last season. That's when Jon Kitna stepped in and played well while Romo recovered from a broken collarbone.
"I loved playing with Kitna," Bennett said Tuesday while appearing on "The Ben & Skin Show" on ESPN Radio Dallas. "Kitna is one of my favorite people to play with. Just being out there on the field with that guy just makes you play even harder. He made some things happen in limited time, so I think if he got a longer chance, he'd be able to do more.
"So I hope there's a chance for a quarterback competition this year. Every position, I think we need to put more competition into it."
Bennett went as far as to suggest that Kitna, who threw for 2,635 yards and 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions for an 88.9 rating last season, could play his way back into a starting role if given the opportunity. Kitna also started for the Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals and Detroit Lions earlier in his 14-year NFL career.
"It's possible," Bennett said before adding, "I think Romo is awesome."
Romo, who turns 31 later this month, passed for 1,635 yards and 11 touchdowns with seven interceptions for a 94.9 rating before his season was cut short during a Week 7 game against the New York Giants. His contract runs three more seasons, with base salaries of $9 million due in 2011 and 2012 and $11.5 million in 2013.
Kitna also is signed through 2013, but the last two years on his contract are voidable. The 38-year-old signal-caller is scheduled to make $2.6 million in base salary next season.
The Cowboys spiraled to a 6-10 finish last season, and Bennett, who started 11 games, didn't mince words when evaluating his team's performance.
"We sucked," he said. "We didn't play as well as we should have. There's a lot of games we should have won that we didn't finish the way we needed to. We had chances to put people away, we didn't do it. We had chances to come back, we didn't do it. We had chances for guys to make plays that didn't do it. We just didn't come through for each other like we should have."