IRVING, Texas – Tight end Jason Witten has never formally met Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. He's only spoken to him once.
Witten, who ranks No. 3 in career catches and receiving among tight ends, said he'd like to see Newsome this weekend. Witten passed Newsome in all-time receptions last November and in receiving yards this year.
"It's been one of the most humbling things because I think he was probably the biggest staple of a tight end, really from that era, that we know of," Witten said. "To be able to pass a guy like that, obviously that's one of the most special things for me as an individual player."
Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe are the only tight ends with more receiving yards and receptions than Witten, who became the third tight end in the league to reach 8,000 career receiving yards this season. Witten eclipsed that milestone in 147 games – two games faster than Gonzalez and 17 games quicker than Sharpe. Witten needs 98 more receptions and 1,963 more receiving yards to reach Sharpe's totals.
The Cowboys tight end said he wouldn't have been able to reach those personal goals had Newsome never played. He knows everyone will be busy this weekend, but Witten said he'd love to speak to the man who transcended the tight end position. Newsome finished his career 20 receiving yards short of 8,000.
"Really, when you think about this position now, really in the last decade or six, seven years, those guys and what he did and (Kellen) Winslow Sr., those guys early on, really every opportunity we have at this position is because of what they did," Witten said.