FRISCO, Texas — In his 11th year in the NFL, new cowboys defensive lineman Michael Bennett sounds like a vet looking for the NFL fountain of youth.

"Right now it’s just enjoying this game,” said Bennett, "and playing football free, enjoying myself trying to be a kid out there again. I’m an old man right now but a the same time try to stay as young as I can.”

The self-proclaimed old man trying to prove he can still be a difference-maker. 

Michael Bennett vs Vikings 2
Dallas Cowboys defensive end Michael Bennett lines up against the Minnesota Vikings in the second half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
AP

After a fantastic debut against the Giants that included a sack, Bennett not nearly as impactful against the Vikings. Instead, it was running back Dalvin Cook making life tough on Cowboy defenders. A move back to the basics, Bennett says, is the recipe for a rebound.

"I think for us it’s just tackling and being fundamentally sound,” said Bennett. "I think football is always about the simple things. It comes down to fundamentals and every single week is who has the most fundamentals who has the most discipline."

Meanwhile, there’s nothing simple about Bennett’s protests for social justice during the national anthem at games. He’s standing now for the first time since 2016 but says it doesn’t diminish how he feels or the work his done to raise awareness.

Bennett’s now sure what his football future holds.

“It could be my last year in the NFL," he said. “I am just taking it one game at a time, one year at a time.

And he hopes one big play at a time.