IRVING, Texas - When Tony Romo returned to the lineup two weeks ago in Miami, tight end Jason Witten needed just eight receptions to reach 1,000 for his career.
In a way, it seemed like the perfect time for his quarterback to return because it would be only fitting that Romo be the one to toss the pass to Witten when he reaches a milestone only 10 other players in NFL history have reached.
But Witten only caught six in the last two games and with Romo now injured again – most likely for the rest of the season – the veteran tight end will undoubtedly have to settle for another passer to give him his 1,000th.
With Matt Cassel getting the start Monday night, Witten said it would've made sense for Romo to be the one, but isn't too worried about the passer on the other end.
"It seems like it's taken a little bit longer than I thought the last couple of weeks. It's all good," Witten said on Friday. "I'm honored and humbled through this entire process to be able to even think about joining that list. I guess it's a bummer that Tony is not going to be the guy to do it because so much of our success was together."
But Witten said Romo doesn't need to be the quarterback to throw him his 1,000th catch to have their careers linked together.
"Ultimately, I don't need a catch number to define our success and our journey together," Witten said. "I'll look back on how I got there, and he was a huge part of that. And still is a huge part of our success. I don't think that will affect it. Sure, I'd love for him to throw it. I reflect back on the journey not the number of catches."
As for Cassel, who has watched from the sideline the last two weeks with Romo in the lineup, perhaps that different perspective could lead to improved play this week. Witten said he's seeing a more comfortable player in the huddle here in practice and hopes it carries over to the game.
"Obviously, Tony is really comfortable with our offense and the way we attack," Witten said. "I'm sure (Cassel) used that as an opportunity to learn from it. Just with time, he's become more comfortable in our system and more comfortable with us as players. Hopefully it'll result in us playing better Monday night."