FORT WORTH – Jason Witten isn't one for predictions, especially when it comes to the entire team.
But when it comes to his quarterback, he doesn't mind being a prognosticator.
Witten and Romo, the two elder statesmen of the team, are both entering their 12th seasons with the Cowboys. While Romo is returning from back surgery to repair a herniated disk, his favorite target says he expects the quarterback to not only come back without problems, but is also ready to have another great year.
"He looks great. I'm excited to see where he is," Witten said during a community event in Albertson's in Fort Worth. "I see him running out there. It's always good to have him out there and the energy he brings. I think he's going to be better than ever."
Romo missed the Week 17 season finale against the Eagles because he underwent surgery. However, Witten said the week before when he led the Cowboys to a clutch win over the Redskins has been overlooked.
"People don't realize the will and toughness he has," Witten said of Romo. "Somewhere it got lost because we were playing Philadelphia, but he played most of the end of that (Washington) game with the back injury and won the game for us."
Assessing the Schedule
Witten said he's like everyone else when the NFL schedule is released. He looks at the opener, Thanksgiving and the end. [embedded_ad]
All three were on his mind when he was asked about it this week.
"No question you want to see the schedule and see what it looks like," Witten said. "That's the first time you really get excited about the season when you see the schedule and see the 49ers are coming pretty early. What a challenge that is, obviously they're a good football team that has been deep in the playoffs the last two or three years."
Witten said the final six-game stretch that has the Cowboys traveling to all three NFC East rivals, along with Chicago, will be challenging.
"Obviously, there are a lot of road games at the end of the year and a little different with the Thursday Thanksgiving Day game followed by another Thursday game. But you can't allow those distractions to get in the way of what you're trying to do as a football team. I think our team is really excited about our upcoming season."
Eyeing The Draft?
While Witten is a self-proclaimed college football fanatic, he says it doesn't translate to the draft.
"I don't really watch much of the draft. To be honest, I know a handful of the guys," Witten said. "I couldn't probably name the Mock Draft of the Top 5.
The Cowboys' veteran tight end doesn't concern himself with who is drafted here in a couple of weeks. More importantly, he just wants them to be ready to contribute.
"Obviously I'm a college football fan and I think those guys are getting better and better," Witten said. "You see the transition from college to the NFL. I think the guys are doing a good job – not just first-round picks but your third-, fourth-, fifth-round picks – to have huge roles on a football team. I think Russell Wilson is a great example of that. So we're excited about that. We hope whoever we take, they come in and be a good teammate and encourage them to have a role on this football team. I think those young players have to contribute to your team, and I'm looking forward to seeing those guys."