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renegadebusdallas.com May 26, 2018


Cowboys' Jason Witten retires, heading to ESPN

04 May 2018, 10:44 | Kristopher Drake

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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 Connor Schell said in a statement.

Following his tenure with the Vols, Witten was selected in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Had Witten returned for a 16th season, he would have been the longest-tenured player in franchise history.

Witten had a 15-year career with the Cowboys and hangs up his cleats having broke the record for most consecutive games played by a tight end.

Witten is set to join ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast team, leaving pro football with the fourth-most catches in NFL history behind Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald.

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Most felt Witten would become a coach after his playing days, but he joked that the broadcaster's lifestyle is a little better. He is also 21st all-time in receiving yards (12,448) and fourth in receptions (1,152). 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. Witten eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving in four different seasons.

To their credit, the Cowboys didn't panic after the earlier Witten news and didn't reach for a player with a higher pick than what was warranted.

Garrett attempted to persuade Witten to play another year after meeting with Jones and Witten one day before the 2018 NFL Draft.

Another in an impressive line of Stanford products to play the position, Schultz comes from the same mold as Witten, a complete tight end who can be a factor in both the running and passing games.

"The hardest part of this decision was knowing that I would never be able to hand you that Lombardi Trophy", Witten added.

Among the tight ends left behind, only one has a catch in a regular-season game: Geoff Swaim with nine over three seasons. Witten's 68 receiving touchdowns rank third in franchise history and fifth all-time among National Football League tight ends.



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