Jason Witten leaving Cowboys for MNF

Jason Witten leaving Cowboys for MNF

IT

Another Dallas Cowboys player is coming to TV.

Ten-time Pro Bowl tight end and Elizabethton-native Jason Witten is retiring after 15 years with the Dallas Cowboys. The network will also replace Gruden's play-by-play partner Sean McDonough with college football announcer Joe Tessitore.

As recently as two weeks ago, Witten suggested he might play until he was 40 and said he "absolutely" was returning.

He's an 11-time Pro-Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro and was the 2012 recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, given to a single player each year who makes a positive impact on his community.

Witten left a message for his Cowboys teammates and coaches who are now charged with the mission of claiming a Super Bowl title that ultimately proved to be beyond his reach: championships are important but enjoying the journey and being a victor in life matters most. "I mean, if you don't play it, you want to coach it".

"That's something that's hard. I was never the most talented, never the flashiest, I relied on grit". "Other players might have been more talented, but no one would ever outwork me".

"To all the young players and coaches out there, I hope that I showed you that yes you can do things the right way" he said.

Romo, the franchise passing leader, and Witten couldn't get to the Cowboys to an NFC championship game after joining the team together in 2003. Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer coached Witten at UT and famously had the Elizabethton, Tenn., native switch to tight end during his freshman season after beginning his career as a defensive end. He said he's ready for the opportunities he will have post retirement. We're with you as a team.

"He's the classic example every coach will use for everyone to follow". I think that standard will be with the Cowboys long after he's gone. I think without a doubt I'd put him in the top three, top four tight ends. "He really was that guy".

He is ranked fourth all-time in receptions, behind only Jerry Rice (1,549), Tony Gonzalez (1,325) and Larry Fitzgerald (1,234).

Just days from turning 36, Witten walks away as the leader in games, catches and yards receiving for a franchise with five Super Bowl wins, but none since the 1995 season.

Warner may be miffed that the tiebreaker wasn't skill or experience but the fact that Witten played for the Dallas Cowboys.

"But it does come for all of us", Witten said, via USA Today. We will always remember it and we're going to do more than remember it.

  • Terrell Bush