IRVING, Texas – This isn't Jason Witten's first time around the block – after either a good season or a bad one.
Considering that fact, it's not surprising that the All-Pro tight end would prefer to be about it, more so than talk about it while the Cowboys ramp up their preparations for OTAs and training camp.
"When you come off 4-12, it's tough to say anything you're going to be," Witten told reporters on Sunday. "It's talk less and do more work, and that's been approach. We've been off to a good start."
Witten and the Cowboys are well into Phase 2 of the offseason conditioning program, and OTAs begin in just one week. Before the grind of those practices begins, Witten held his annual ProCamp at Liberty Christian High School in Argyle, Texas, on Sunday afternoon.
"I always love having this camp for these kids, 400-500 kids," he said. "Hopefully teach them football but more importantly teach them more about their life and having high character and integrity and chasing their dreams more than anything else."
Talk of chasing dreams will also inevitably lead back to Witten, who is set to begin his 14th NFL season. It'd be easy to call 2015 a down year for the Pro Bowler, given that he only found the end zone in the season opener and season finale. And yet despite a 4-12 record and shoddy quarterback play, Witten finished with 77 catches for 713 yards – both better totals than his 2014 numbers.
"It's very simple for me. Hey, look, there is a standard in which you want to play and I want to compete for a championship and be part of a team we're all proud of," he said. "I look at it as one year at a time and there's expectations that I have and the team has for me in how they expect me to play, and I want to meet that and probably exceed that."
It's fair to say that Witten has consistently been able to deliver on the expectations for himself. As they seek to improve upon such a disappointing campaign in 2015, he said that's an incentive the full Cowboys roster shares this year.
"I'm excited about that," he said. "I think we're more motivated now than we've ever been and that gets you anxious about going into the season."