Forget Romo, the Dallas Cowboys need Jason Witten back

Jason Witten dallas cowboys (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Jason Witten dallas cowboys (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

With his television career floundering, might Jason Witten be an option to rejoin the Dallas Cowboys this season?

No matter how much it pains people to accept, Tony Romo is not coming back to save the Dallas Cowboys. He’s not going to play. He’s not going to coach. He’s successfully transitioned his career to the broadcasting booth and he’s already among the best at it in the biz. He’s living the post-NFL career dream.

Jason Witten, on the other hand, hasn’t transitioned so well…

This past April, Jason Witten shocked the league (and especially the Cowboys Nation) when he retired from the Dallas Cowboys and began his broadcasting career. Following in the footsteps of Tony Romo, Witten left the game before the game left him, taking advantage of a prime television opportunity on Monday Night Football.

It’s hard to blame the future Hall of Famer. Who would turn down a multi-year deal to work the Monday Night Football booth? Realistically, the 36-year-old only had about two seasons of professional football anyway. A career in the broadcasting booth can last a lifetime. Besides, how hard can it be?

It turns out. Pretty hard.

Early into his professional broadcasting career, Jason Witten is struggling. The man known as “the Senator” seems uncomfortable, uptight, and generally just lacks personality. It didn’t take long for the national audience to turn on the former Dallas Cowboy.

Many NFL fans are already overtly annoyed the Dallas Cowboys dominate the best positions in broadcasting. Haters have been champing at the bit to tear into the first former Cowboy to show weakness. And with Aikman and Romo the best in the game, it’s no surprise Witt is in the crosshairs right now.

A recent Sporting News article by Michael McCarthy had some harsh (albeit true) things to say about ol’ No. 82. Even comparing his TV attempt to the infamous Emmitt Smith flop:

"“Witten doesn’t have the natural elan of Romo or Cris Collinsworth of ‘Sunday Night Football’, or the easy brevity of Troy Aikman of Fox. He comes off sometimes like a humorless, earnest Boy Scout who’s studied too hard. He’s over-prepared.”"

Likening Witten’s broadcasting career to Emmitt Smith’s failed attempt got me thinking – it’s not too late. It’s not too late for Jason Witten to resume his NFL career. Sure, he may only have 25 games in him, but that’s 25 games playing the game he loves.

Sure, it’s bad business to vacate a lucrative deal – one that could lead to a sustainable career. But the way things look, this may be a one-and-done kind deal (Like Emmitt). Letting this play out organically would kill any possibility of a return to the field. A return that’s possible today.

The Dallas Cowboys are in a bad shape at tight end. Geoff Swaim messed up his knee on Sunday – the extent is relatively unknown. Behind him is a mix of developmental TE3-TE4 prospects. No one is capable of reliably holding down a TE1 spot. And if we’re being honest, even Swaim is really better suited for TE2.

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As we saw last season, age has caught up with Jason Witten, but even an aged Witten is better than what the Dallas Cowboys have right now. Coming back to Dallas for the rest of the season (and next), would help the team better prepare for life after Witten. It would also give Witten a chance to rethink his post-football future.

Jason Witten is tremendous guy who can succeed in a number of things. I’m just not sure broadcasting is one of them. An NFL front office? Sure. A league job. You bet. Politics? I’d vote for him.

Even if it is a binary choice (TV or football), I think 36-year Witten is better on the field than in the booth.  So let’s make this happen.

Next. Why Amari Cooper is a great addition. dark

Clearly something like this is a massive long-shot. Not nearly as much of a long-shot as Romo returning (I mean, seriously people) but a long-shot nonetheless. But where there’s need and familiarity, there is opportunity. And with his TV career fledgling, it could be something he’d at least consider if an offer was made.

  • Published on 10/26/2018 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 10/26/2018 at 12:03 PM