ARLINGTON, Texas – "So much joy."
That's how Jason Witten described the offense's huddle at the end of Sunday's dominant 35-17 victory over the New York Giants. The 37-year-old tight end, beginning his franchise-record 16th NFL season, said something that left his younger teammates cracking up.
"You tell some, you share some, but you've got to keep some too," Witten said afterward with a smile. "I'm going to keep that one with the group, but 'victory' is always a special formation for us to get in."
Starting at tight end and playing a good portion of the offense's snaps, Witten caught three passes for 15 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown in the second quarter after a persuasive play fake from quarterback Dak Prescott.
"It's been great just to have him back and to be able to get him a touchdown," Prescott said. "The one (tight end Blake) Jarwin scored on (in the first quarter) is one of his favorite plays. So the moment I get that play call in my head and I see he's not in the game, I'm just like, 'Oh, he's not going to be too happy to miss this one.' And then Jarwin catches the touchdown.
"To be able to fast forward and get him one, get him his own, was great."
It was Witten's first time in the end zone in a regular-season game since Dec. 10, 2017 against the Giants. The 11-time Pro Bowler spent last season in the ESPN Monday Night Football booth, and while he enjoyed a new challenge in television, football tugged at him.
These were the moments he missed during that 10-month retirement.
The Cowboys played as well offensively Sunday as any game in the last decade. Prescott had a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating and completed passes to seven different receivers. At one point, the offense scored touchdowns on five straight drives.
Witten was just happy to be part of it.
"It felt good to make a play that can help your football team," Witten said. "It felt good just to be back out there.
"I had a lot of fun. For me to be able to come back and be a part of it, there's so much joy. It's one thing to go out there and play. It's another one when your team plays well. That was a special moment for sure."