Dallas Cowboys legend and former University of Tennessee star tight end Jason Witten announced his retirement from professional football on Thursday in a press conference at the Cowboys' headquarters.
Splitting time with Dan Campbell at tight end, Witten earned the first touchdown of his career against the Giants, doing so in the penultimate game of the season at Texas Stadium.
Witten will still be visible in retirement as he will enter broadcasting and has accepted a position to join ESPN's Monday Night Football as an analyst.More news: Red Sox 6, Rangers 1: The real Chris Sale is back
The decision by the franchise leader in games, catches and yards receiving is the same one friend and longtime teammate Tony Romo, the club passing leader in yards and touchdowns, made past year with CBS.
And while most people believe he will eventually have his plaque enshrined in the NFL Hall-of-Fame, several members of the media could not resist the opportunity to cast doubt on Witten's chances. He ends his standout career with 1,152 receptions, 4th most in league history. He also is third in receiving touchdowns (68). Not only did Parcells talk to Witten about dependability and durability, he showed him a jar of sweet potato baby food so the tight end could keep his weight up while his jaw was wired shut.
"I'll get him for that", Parcells said. After the Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention following a loss to Seattle, Witten said, "There's not always a fairytale ending". He had just rejoined the team after spending a couple of days in hospital and was in the training room when Parcells approached him with some wisdom. "I was never the most talented, never the flashiest, I relied on grit". He's also an 11-time Pro-Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro. "I love playing this game too much and I know I can play at a high level" per Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News.More news: Draymond Green calls death threat tweet "sad"
At the end of the 2017 season, Witten had said, "Oh, I'm coming back". His leadership and presence on the field will be missed by the Cowboys as they have lost their top two receivers in Dez Bryant and now Jason Witten this offseason. Fifteen of those catches came against the Detroit Lions on December 9 and tied Kellen Winslow's record for most receptions by a tight end in a single game.
"Jason Witten was the ultimate pro", Manning said.
That's when, for the final time, Romo and Witten worked their magic.More news: Deadpool 2 Hindi Trailer out: Ranveer Singh dubbed the Hindi version