ARLINGTON, Texas –In the wake of a season-ending loss, it's hard not to think about the big picture – especially for someone who is finishing off a 15th NFL season.
Last year, following the Cowboys' elimination from the playoffs, Jason Witten was emotional in discussing his future. Sunday night's elimination loss to Seattle was similar – albeit with a bit more resolve that Witten's playing career isn't quite over.
"It's a great question," Witten said. "Every week I have an opportunity to break this team down, and I see too much positive – I really do. I feel too good to think that that would end. My intention is to keep playing."
Witten finished with five catches for 39 yards in the 21-12 loss to the Seahawks, which puts him over the 60-catch marker for the 14th time in 15 seasons. He is on pace to finish with his lowest yardage total since his rookie year, but his five touchdowns tie his second-best mark in the last seven years.
Next week's game in Philadelphia will be his 235th consecutive game, as he continues to add to a surefire Hall of Fame resume.
Impressive as all those numbers are, they won't offset another disappointing finish for Witten, who was clearly emotional in talking to reporters after the game.
"Right now there's just a lot of emotion with it. You go on this journey and this quest and nothing is guaranteed to you," he said. "It's an unbelievable opportunity and I see a lot of positive in our team, but as I've said, that margin is so dang tight. We weren't able to capitalize. We fought hard, but we just weren't able to get the results."
The Cowboys signed Witten to a four-year extension this past offseason, so there shouldn't be any concerns about his future other than his own desire to play. He'll turn 36 in the spring, and his upcoming 16th season with the team would set a franchise record – making him the longest-tenured Cowboy in the organization's history.
To hear it from Witten, no matter the disappointment of the moment, he's not ready to call it a career just yet.
"There's not always a fairy tale end, I realize that," he said. "Nobody's more critical of themselves than me, and I understand the expectation. But I see too many positives and I feel too good to think that it would end right now."