FRISCO, Texas – Jason Witten played 96 percent of the Cowboys' offensive snaps a year ago at age 34.
He's missed one game in 14 seasons – and he doesn't like taking practices off, either.
But head coach Jason Garrett has convinced him (no easy task) that periodic rest this offseason is a good thing in the long run.
"Yeah, it's never easy," Witten said. "But look, we have a great system in place. It's been good for me as I've gone into this offseason, going into my 15th year to approach it that way and get with the staff and the trainers and weight staff who have been with me for a long time, and I pride myself in that. But this is just part of the plan."
Garrett has said that Witten and linebacker Sean Lee would not work three straight OTA practice sessions per week. On a day off, they'll go through meetings, walkthrough and warmup only.
Witten has built a 10-time Pro Bowl career on consistency and durability – and Garrett admits he requires an explanation for sitting out.
"That's really the case with all players. It's important to say this is what we're going to do, this is how we're going to do it, this is also why we're going to do it," Garrett said. "And a guy like Wit, who has been around as long as he has, such a smart person, such a smart football player, such a great feel for the team and everything about it, you have to give him compelling reasons why. Hopefully we're able to do that and I think he understands why. It's in his best interest and our team's best interest and he's handled it really well."