Notes: Witten's Perfect 10K; Defense Shines, Limiting Watt

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ARLINGTON, Texas – His stat line isn't going to jump off the page at anyone, but Jason Witten finished Sunday's win in rare air – for any receiver, let alone a tight end.

In hauling in a 34-yard seam route from Tony Romo in the third quarter, Witten surpassed 10,000 receiving yards for his career, making him the third tight end in league history to do so.


"It was special. I have so much respect for this position and all the receivers who have played in this organization. But to join Tony Gonzalez, he's the best to ever do it, and to get over 10,000 yards is a huge honor," Witten said. "I'm thankful for a lot of good players along the way to make that happen for me. Hopefully there's a lot more. More than anything else, I'm excited about the win."

Witten joined the aforementioned Gonzalez, whose 15,127 career receiving yards is the most-ever by a tight end, and Shannon Sharpe as the only tight ends to hit five-figure receiving yards. In fact, Witten's 59-yard day against the Texans puts him just 46 yards shy of Sharpe for the No. 2 spot.

"You've heard me say this a lot, but he's a complete tight end. We ask him to do a lot of things. Put that tape on him and see what he was asked to do in the game," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. "It's a lot more than just catching passes and that's what he's done throughout his career and he's embraced every part of it."

Emphasizing the accomplishment is Witten's franchise company on the list of 10,000-yard receivers. With 11,904 career receiving yards, Michael Irvin is the only other Cowboy to pass that yardage mark.

"One of the best players I've ever been around," Garrett said of Witten. "A great example to how to conduct yourself on a team, in a community, or just doing things the right way. One of the people I most admire in my life."

                                                      -David Helman

Sudden-Change Stops

The Cowboys' defense did allow the Texans to score 10 points in the final half of the fourth quarter to force overtime. They had a hard time with Arian Foster, who rushed for 127 yards.

But when push came to shove – for real – the Cowboys' defense rose to the occasion when it mattered most.

In overtime, the Cowboys got off the field on third-and-2 when Jeremy Mincey hit Ryan Fitzpatrick in the backfield to force an incomplete pass. That gave the Cowboys the chance to win the game with a field goal only, which is what they did.

"The defense played outstanding," Tony Romo said. "We would not have been able to win this game without them playing that suffocating style of defense. I'm ecstatic about the way they are playing."

After a fumble by Dwayne Harris in the second quarter, the defense went three-and-out to keep  Houston off the scoreboard for the first half, the second time in two weeks. And after an interception by Romo in the third quarter, another three-and-out stop led to a big punt return by Dwayne Harris and another touchdown.

"We have the 'no retreat, no surrender' mentality," Mincey said. "We keep talking about raising the bar and that's what we did."

-        Nick Eatman Turn Down For Watt

DeMarco Murray didn't think the Cowboys ran away from J.J. Watt. In fact, he said they were running right at him.

Watt entered the game with two sacks, an interception, a defensive touchdown and an offensive touchdown this year. The Cowboys held Watt to four tackles and no sacks.

"He's a good player, got a lot of respect for him, but we know we have a couple good guys on our side as well," Murray said.

Murray gave a lot of the credit to the offensive line, particularly Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary and Doug Free. He said he didn't think the Cowboys let him affect the game, and the offense wasn't going to back down from anyone.

Tony Romo managed to avoid a sack opportunity from Watt, spinning around and delivering a heave for a touchdown pass to Terrance Williams. But even if Watt stayed off the stat sheet for the most part, Romo said he still made a difference.

"Against these guys, you didn't have time to wait on these third and fourth options," Romo said. "That's a credit to their defensive front – J.J. and those guys. Maybe they didn't get a lot of sacks, but they definitely disrupted the outcome."

Jason Witten said all the hype that's been said about Watt "is definitely worth it," and owner/general manager called Watt the best player in the NFL.

"I believe that," Jones said. "Secondly, that's a tribute to our offensive line and Witten and that entire group that has to make a block up there. They did a good job on him. He's a difference maker."

-Rowan Kavner

Quick Hits:

  • Sunday's win upped the Cowboys current win streak to four games, tying the longest win streak of Jason Garrett's head coaching tenure and the longest since the team had four straight wins in 2011 (11/6 - 11/24)
  • The Cowboys played in their first overtime game since against New Orleans (12/23/12), and first overtime win since against Pittsburgh (12/16/12), to improve to 20-14 all-time in overtime games
  • The Dallas defense shut out Houston's offense in the first half, marking the fourth time this season that the defense has pitched a shutout of the opposing team's offense during either half.
  • Dan Bailey kicked the game-winning 49-yard field goal in overtime to give him his ninth career-game-winning kick, the most in team history.

Dez Bryant's two-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter extended his streak of games with a touchdown catch to four games to tie the third-longest streak of his career.

  • Murray's streak of five consecutive 100-yard games allows him to become the first Dallas Cowboy to ever accomplish that feat 
  • Murray's 670 yards through the first five games of the season are the most in team history and fifth-most in NFL history, behind O.J. Simpson (823), O.J. Simpson (813), Jim Brown  (787) and Jamal Lewis (742).
  • Murray had a career-best 31 carries Sunday to mark the 16th time of his career that he's had 20-or-more carries, and with the win Sunday, the club improved to 15-1 when Murray has 20-or-more carries
  • Murray's 31 carries were his fifth consecutive game with 20-or-more carries this season, establishing a career-high, while also tying the eighth-longest streak in team history. [embedded_ad]
  • By throwing for over 300 yards, Tony Romo notched his first 300-yard game of the season and the 45th of his career – most in team history
  • With two touchdown passes Sunday, Romo improved his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown to 33 games – the longest streak in franchise history, the sixth-longest in NFL history and the second-longest active streak behind Peyton Manning (44).
  • Jason Witten played in his 176th consecutive game Sunday to tie Dale Hellestrae (176, 1990-2000) for the second-longest streak in team history. Bob Lilly owns the franchise record with 196 consecutive games played
  • Witten recorded 59 receiving yards in Sunday's game to give him 10,014 for his career, becoming the second Dallas Cowboy to reach 10,000 career receiving yards (Michael Irvin), the third tight end in the league and the 41st player overall in NFL history to do so. He did it in his 180th career game to become the second-fastest tight end to reach 10,000 career receiving yards behind Tony Gonzalez (177 games).
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