FRISCO, Texas – After 15 years, Jason Witten has earned all the time he needs to decide his professional future.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he currently does not have an update on Witten's status but the team will support his eventual decision "110 percent" – whether he continues to play or not.
"Obviously we'd love to have him be a Cowboy because of what he brings to the table. We're a better football team with him, no question," Jones said at a press conference announcing the June 16 welterweight championship bout between Errol Spence Jr. and Carlos Ocampo at Ford Center at The Star in Frisco.
"But at the same time, in his mind if it's time to do something different in his career path, then we would 110 percent support that as well. We just want to give him all the time he needs. He deserves it. He's a Hall of Fame player, both on and off the field."
Reports broke last Friday that Witten is considering a move to ESPN as a broadcaster for Monday Night Football. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones then told reporters that he has been in communication with Witten about his future and the veteran tight end needed a few days to decide whether he will play a franchise-record 16th season.
Although Witten could make a decision at any time, Stephen Jones said the organization has made a point not to rush or pressure him. Not after everything he has meant to the team since arriving in 2003 as a 20-year-old rookie in former coach Bill Parcells' first draft class.
"Jerry and I and are family struggle with that because you really don't want to talk someone into something," Stephen Jones said. "This game is a tough game. I learned a lot from Coach Parcells when he was here and you've got to be all in to play the game.
"You just want him to do what's in the best interest, not only for him but for his family. This is one case where we don't need to be selfish. We need to support what's best for him."