IRVING, Texas – The question was bound to come up as soon as the words left Tony Romo's mouth.
On a conference call with Seattle media on Wednesday, Romo said Jason Witten "might be the best Dallas Cowboy of all time" when asked about his long relationship with the Pro Bowl tight end.
"Literally, his career has been exceptional," Romo continued. "He's hit every mark you could ever have, and he's going to go down as the first- or second-greatest tight end of all time. I've just been lucky enough to play with him."
Given that type of statement, the questions were served up on a platter at Witten's regular Thursday media session. On a team with as many iconic figures as the Dallas Cowboys, Witten said it quite the compliment.
"I mean, I'm definitely humbled by him saying that -- being mentioned with some of those guys that make this organization the best in the world. But I got a long way to go to catch those guys," he said.
That might be a bit too modest, considering the milestones Witten is chasing this season. Last weekend against Houston, he eclipsed the 10,000-yard mark for his career – making him just the third-ever tight end to reach that status. The No. 2 tight end on that list, Shannon Sharpe, is just 46 yards ahead of him.
It's worth mentioning that Sharpe is a Hall of Famer, and the other tight end in that group, Tony Gonzalez – is a lock to be inducted once eligible.
"I think it just shows the relationship we have – a lot of respect," Witten said of Romo. "You do something with somebody for so long, you're pulling for them and you want to see them do well. That's the relationship we have. But there's been some great ones and I know I've got a long way to go to even be mentioned with those guys."
Asked to clarify who would be considered among the all-time great Cowboys, Witten laughed.
"Oh, man. I've been focusing on the Seattle Seahawks, man – Kam Chancellor – and you guys are talking about this," he said. "Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Bob Lilly – the list goes on and on -- Michael Irvin. Of course, there's been some great ones. I think we all know that. When you come in this organization you know the great players that played here – not just how good they were, but how they went about it." [embedded_ad]
That raised another interesting question of Witten. Given his long-standing tenure with the team, and his lofty place in the Cowboys' record books, where would Romo himself rank?
"He definitely would be up there for sure, but I think he understands that criticism comes with playing his position," Witten said. "I don't think people quite realize how good of a football player really is, but we're not worried about that. We've got a good thing going, but we're focused on getting a win. We'll have plenty of time when our careers are over to think back."