HONOLULU – Jason Witten's comeback season took another step on Saturday.
He made the announcement in the spring, had his first practice in May and first training camp practice last month.
And now he can check off his first game as he started against the Rams at Aloha Stadium and played the first series."It felt really good. I was very anxious to get out there and play," Witten said. "It is just the next step in the comeback. I worked really hard to get back in shape. I hold myself to a high standard, so I can say it was not perfect."
Witten picked up a first down with a 10-yard catch, showing he can still get open despite entering his 16th pro season. Witten's catch extended a drive that went 13 plays for 97 yards and a touchdown run by Tony Pollard.
"I got a little antsy early but had a big third down conversion on an option route," Witten said. "That was big. Thirteen plays, it was a good drive for us offensively. I think this is just the next step."
Witten expanded on the touchdown drive, giving praise to Dak Prescott not only what he does on the field, but the mentality and leadership he brings, especially in the only drive of the game for the first-team offense.
"I thought Dak (Prescott) was in total command. We were backed up on our 3-yard line, and he said, 'Let's go 97," and we did. It was a mixture of the pass game and the run game," Witten said. "I thought Tony Pollard did a good job hitting the hole. Of course, the big explosive play; we converted some third downs and Gallup's big catch down there. That's what we have been working on is finding those plays. We did it as a group, going 97 yards, and that's a big step for this team in moving on from last week."
But that doesn't mean Witten didn't enjoy his time in Hawaii, a place he's visited several times when the Pro Bowl was played here.
"It's been a great experience. I have been fortunate enough to have played in the Pro Bowl; you come on this field; so many greats have been here," he said. "It is a great opportunity, even though it is preseason. This community loves football, and it was great to spend some time with them. Their hospitality has been off the charts."
But now it's back to work as the Cowboys return home to Dallas and will have practices at Ford Center in Frisco as Witten was quick to point out.
"We still have a lot of training camp left."