FRISCO, Texas — After 17 seasons, Jason Witten is retiring from the NFL. He intends to signal a one-day contract and retire as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in March when his contract with the Las Vegas Raiders expires on the finish of the league 12 months.
Witten, 38, performed 16 seasons with the Cowboys and spent 2020 with the Raiders. No tight finish in NFL historical past has performed extra video games than Witten’s 271, and solely Corridor of Famer Tony Gonzalez has extra receptions and yards on the place.
“A coach as soon as instructed me, ‘The legacy of heroes is the reminiscence of an incredible title and the inheritance of an incredible instance,'” Witten instructed ESPN. “As I grasp it up, I stroll away understanding that for 17 seasons I gave it my absolute all. I’m happy with my accomplishments as a soccer participant on the sector and the instance I attempted to set off of it. Soccer is a superb sport that has taught me many invaluable classes, and I sit up for passing on that information to the subsequent technology.”
Witten first retired after the 2017 season and spent 2018 as an ESPN Monday Evening Soccer analyst however opted to return to the Cowboys in 2019.
A 3rd-round decide in 2003, Witten developed into probably the greatest tight ends in NFL historical past. He was named to the Professional Bowl 11 occasions, tied with Corridor of Fame defensive lineman Bob Lilly for probably the most in Dallas historical past, and was thought-about an entire tight finish due to his capability as a blocker along with his cross catching. In 2012, he was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the 12 months winner for the work he and his spouse, Michelle, have accomplished with their basis.
Witten is the Cowboys’ all-time chief in receptions (1,215) and yards (12,977) and is second in landing catches (72). He had 4 1,000-yard seasons, and in 2012 he set the report for catches in a season by a good finish (110) — a report that has since been damaged (Zach Ertz, 116).
He performed in a team-record 255 video games, together with a franchise-record 245 begins, lacking only one sport in his profession due to a damaged jaw as a rookie. He had 13 catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns for the Raiders however was lauded by coach Jon Gruden and fellow tight finish Darren Waller for his mentorship.
Teaching has lengthy been talked about as a risk for Witten’s subsequent transfer. He has been linked to alternatives within the NFL and school ranges instantly ought to he wish to begin down that path. Undoubtedly he shall be inducted into the Cowboys’ Ring of Honor, and he shall be eligible for the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 2026.