May 20, 2018

Jason Witten retires after 15 seasons

04 May 2018, 10:47 | Ken Black

Cowboys longtime tight end Jason Witten retires from NFL, trades in helmet for broadcasting headset

Another Cowboys player is coming to TV: Jason Witten will join ESPN's 'Monday Night Football'

Tight end Jason Witten has made a decision to retire and will join ESPN's "Monday Night Football" broadcasts, according to multiple reports.

"We want to congratulate Jason Witten on a Hall of Fame caliber career with the Dallas Cowboys and we are thrilled to welcome him to ESPN and Monday Night Football", ESPN executive vice president for content Connor Schell said.

Witten will retire Thursday after a decade-and-a-half of regular-season and playoff disappointments to join his former quarterback Tony Romo in the broadcasting arena. He is the team's all-time leader in receiving yards with 12,448 and is third all-time on the Cowboy with 68 touchdown catches.

And after suffering his worst season since his rookie year in terms of yards received, with 560, Witten knew it was time to call it a day.

NFL Network reporter Jane Slater shared video of an awesome moment where Cowboys players, coaches and employees formed a long line to say their goodbyes to Witten at the team facility. He was named a Pro Bowler 11-times and an All-Pro four times.

The Dallas Cowboys drafted Witten out of the University of Tennessee in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft (69th pick overall).

Said head coach Jason Garrett afterward, "What we liked about him is we feel he is more of a complete tight end".

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

And playing behind the durable Witten, he'd managed a paltry nine catches in 28 games over three seasons of work.

What Witten did on the field was a dream individual career, especially at a position that tended to fly under the radar everywhere except places like New England or San Diego, and, of course, Dallas. "I was never the most talented, never the flashiest, I relied on grit". The Dallas pass catcher holds numerous franchise receiving records including most career receptions, most career receiving yards and most consecutive seasons with a reception, among others. Dallas drafted Stanford's Dalton Schultz in the fourth round last week.

The Cowboys are high on Blake Jarwin and hope that former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers can develop after missing his entire second season with a concussion.

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