Jason Witten has called it a career
Cowboys great Jason Witten has officially made the decision to walk away from the NFL in order to start his broadcasting career.
ESPN’s Todd Archer was first with the news this morning:
Jason Witten has informed Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett that he will retire, according to multiple sources, who said the tight end will accept a position with ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Witten struggled with… https://t.co/yzq9WeaORL
— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) May 3, 2018
As Archer mention’s above, Witten is now set to join the Monday Night Football team next season — a role in which his former teammate (and current broadcaster) Tony Romo believes suits him well.
“Jason’s going to do well,” Romo said. “He’s as hard-working a guy as you’re going to find. He’ll be well-prepared for whatever environment he decides to be a part of next year.”
Witten, who turns 36 on Sunday, leaves the game one of the most productive tight ends in NFL history. He ranks as the team’s all-time leader in games played, consecutive games played, starts, receiving yards, and catches. To say this move will significantly hurt the Cowboys Super Bowl Odds for is an understatement, as the proof is here seeing their odds dwindle from 9.1% for Super Bowl 52 to 5.3% implied probability for Super Bowl 53.
The Cowboy’s superstar played in 11 Pro Bowls, which ties him with Bob Lilly for the most in team history. Had he returned for one more season, Witten would have become the longest-tenured player in the history of the Dallas franchise. As it is, he leaves tied with Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei.
He’s fourth in NFL history in total catches, trailing only Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzales, as well as Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The aforementioned Gonzales is the only tight end in league history with more receiving yards than Witten.
He certainly has all the makings of a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee.
Witten’s departure leaves a serious hole at tight end. The team has only Geoff Swain, Blake Jarwin, Rico Gathers and 2018 4th round pick Dalton Schultz (Stanford) on the roster at the moment. The Cowboys reportedly intended to select South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert in the second round but lost him when the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles traded up, jumping Dallas to select Goedert.