DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
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Witten, Carr Climbing List Of League’s Ironmen
IRVING, Texas – While injuries once again tormented a swarm of Cowboys in 2013, a couple players find themselves in a peculiarly positive spot among the league’s ironmen.
Brandon Carr leads all cornerbacks by 30 on the most consecutive regular season games started list with 96, while Jason Witten leads all tight ends by more than 50 on the most consecutive regular season games played list with 171.
Witten also finds himself trailing only the (likely) retiring Tony Gonzalez by three on the list of most consecutive regular season starts with 115, which included battles through various serious injuries, most recently the one to his spleen which left the start of his 2012 season in serious doubt.
DeMarcus Ware would also top the list of games played among defensive ends if not for his three missed games during the 2013 season. Prior to that, Ware had played in all 16 games every season since getting drafted in 2005. Ware had played in 134 straight games before missing the Eagles game in Philadelphia in 2013.
Ware’s miraculous streak came to an end last season, but the games started streak for Carr and games played streak for Witten are still alive as the duo sits atop their respective positions. Witten will likely also surpass Gonzalez’s starts streak in 2014 if he stays healthy early in the year. Carr’s also fourth on the consecutive games played list.
On a team lacking healthy players the last couple years, the reliability that Carr and Witten will at least be on the field and ready to go shouldn’t be understated.
Doug Free’s the only other Cowboys player within the top five at his respective position in terms of longevity. Free’s played in 80 straight games and made 71 consecutive starts, ranking fifth in the league in both categories.
The Cowboys need amplified play from all of their starters if they’re to make any sort of playoff run in 2014, but they need to be on the field to do that. The accountability of Carr and Witten is juxtaposed against an otherwise injury-laden team and should at least be recognized.