Dallas Cowboys: What’s Keeping Jason Witten From Retiring?

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Jason Witten
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Jason Witten /

Cowboys tight end Jason Witten says he will return in 2018 even after the team fell short in 2017.  However, the question is, why doesn’t he just retire?

Jason Witten has had a tremendous career so far, on and off the field.  Witten has made a huge impact in the community.  He was the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award winner as a result of his work.

After being drafted in 3rd Round of the 2003 Draft out of the University of Tennessee, Witten has been a symbol of stability, hope, and toughness for the Dallas Cowboys.   His connection with Tony Romo will live on in Cowboys lore.  He has given everything to help this team win.  Witten restructured his contract several times.

He has gone from being a #1 Wide Receiver to primarily blocking in the run game.  One the many reasons he voted to be a captain every year.  We will eventually see Jason Witten receive a gold jacket to go along with his name on the Cowboys Ring of Honor.

Jason Witten’s Hall of Fame career is stacked with many all-time statistics.  He has the second most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end behind Tony Gonzalez.  He is currently fourth in total receptions with 1,152.  The most impressive stat might be that he has played in 239 consecutive games and only missing one game his whole career.  

Witten also holds numerous Cowboys Franchise records as well.  He holds the record for career receptions (1,152), career receiving yards (12,448), receptions in a game (18), and most consecutive games played (239).  

He has four total All-Pro selections.  Jason Witten is tied with Bob Lilly for most Pro Bowls in Franchise History after being named to his 11th Pro Bowl in 2017.  There is something notable missing from his Résumé.

The answer to the question from the beginning of this article is simple: Jason Witten wants to win.  Win a Super Bowl to be specific.

 Like most players, he wants to solidify his career with a ring.  It is much easier to walk away a champion then not.  I’ll never be a professional football player but I can’t imagine a better way to retire than in Peyton Manning like-fashion: after winning a Super Bowl.  

Witten has had several opportunities to win a Super Bowl.  Three big ones in particular.  In 2007, the Cowboys steamrolled the NFL on their way to the top seed in the conference.  Disappointingly, they came up short against the division rival New York Giants.  

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The Cowboys shocked the world in 2014 when they reached the postseason with a 12-4 record as the #3 seed.  The Cowboys defeated the Detroit Lions in the Wild Card round when Jason Witten came up with a huge 1st Down reception in the 4th quarter on 4 Down & 6.  The team came up short the following week against the Green Bay Packers in the infamously “Dez Bryant Catch” game.  

In 2016, the Cowboys were powered to a 13-3 record and home-field advantage in the NFC by a pair of stud rookies.  However, the Cowboys lost to the Packers once again in the Divisional Round in heartbreak fashion.  

After being down 21-3 early, the Cowboys stormed back to tie the game late only to fall victim to an Aaron Rodgers miracle.  The Cowboys were seemingly destined to go all the way in these three opportunities but they could not finish the fight.  

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Witten will have a few more future opportunities to win a Super Bowl.  Although, he is getting older has been evaluating his future.  As long as the Cowboys have a chance at the Lombardi Trophy, Jason Witten will stick around for the ride.