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Offseason | 2021

Jason Witten Expected To Retire With Cowboys

File Photo
File Photo

For the second time in three years, Jason Witten is retiring from the NFL.

This time, it does appear to be for good.

The veteran tight end, who played last year with the Las Vegas Raiders, has reportedly informed the Cowboys that he not only intends to retire, but wishes to end his career with the Cowboys, according to a report from ESPN's Todd Archer.

"A coach once told me, 'The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example,'" Witten said to ESPN. "As I hang it up, I walk away knowing that for 17 seasons I gave it my absolute all. I am proud of my accomplishments as a football player on the field and the example I tried to set off of it. Football is a great game that has taught me many valuable lessons, and I look forward to passing on that knowledge to the next generation."

However, that official move won't be made until March, during the start of the new league year. That is when Witten's contract officially expires with the Raiders, plus the Cowboys will have an open roster spot and can sign Witten to the team and then move him to the Reserved/Retired list.

That was a list Witten was on for the entire 2018 season when he decided to hang up the cleats and join the Monday Night Football crew as an analyst.

But in 2019, Witten wasn't quite done playing. He returned to the Cowboys for one season in Dallas. He was not re-signed in free agency and decided to play a year with the Raiders. Last season, he caught just 13 passes for 69 yards and two touchdowns.

But Witten certainly isn't short on numbers throughout his career. The Cowboys' all-time leader in games played, starts, catches and receiving yards, Witten also ranks among the best in NFL history for tight ends.

Currently, his 1,228 career receptions is second among NFL tight ends, but fourth overall, behind only Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald and Tony Gonzalez.

A projected future Hall of Famer, Witten is the only offensive player in Cowboys history to make 11 Pro Bowl selections, which ties him for the most among all players with Bob Lilly.

82 of the best views from the 15-year career of tight end Jason Witten as a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

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