IRVING, Texas - On Wednesday, head coach Jason Garrett spoke of the six players who made the Pro Bowl, calling it a "tremendous honor" to be selected by their peers.
But in Garrett's mind, there are some other players who are just as deserving of those individual accolades, starting with his tight end.
But despite Jason Witten not named to the Pro Bowl, remaining at nine selections in his 12-year career, Garrett doesn't view his veteran leader any differently.
"I think he's the best tight end in football," Garrett said. "At this point, we ask him to do so many different things like a typical tight end does. He plays every snap, puts his hand on his ground, he run blocks, he pass protects, you put him in the backfield he blocks, he runs routes, catches the ball, is a mismatch player in the passing game. We've run the ball a lot more this year and it's been really good for our football team."
Witten's numbers are down somewhat, especially in yards as he just 654 heading into Sunday's season finale. Since his rookie season in 2003 when he had just 35 catches for 347 yards, Witten has reached at least 750 receiving yards in 10 straight years, including four of at least 1,000 yards.
However, the last two weeks, Witten has matched his season-high of seven catches in a game. His seven for 90 yards (also a season-high) last week against the Colts, put him to 60 receptions for the 11th consecutive season.
Witten has taken on more of a blocking role as the Cowboys have rushed the ball more with DeMarco Murray, who leads the NFL with 1,745 yards – just 29 yards from breaking Emmitt Smith's single-season franchise record of 1,773 (set in 1995).
Witten has accepted a lesser role in the passing game, but Garrett said the veteran tight end is just as reliable as ever.
"You look at his opportunities and when he's cashed in on them, the percentage is really, really good," Garrett said. "He's playing as well as he's ever played. Again, he's the best tight end in football in my mind."