Dallas Cowboys: Jason Witten’s Impact for the 2019 Season


The Dallas Cowboys were able to bring Jason Witten back out of retirement with a 1 yr/$3.5 M deal. In this article, we will discuss how he will impact the team for the 2019 season.

On April 27th, 2018, Jason Witten’s retirement was so sudden it didn’t give Cowboys fans enough time to process the announcement nor did it give the Cowboys enough time to make appropriate plans to cope with such plan. (The Cowboys drafted Dalton Schultz the day after in the 4th round)

It was revealed Witten was signed to become the color commentator for ESPN during their Monday Night Football coverage. After a less than desirable season of commentating, many criticized Witten’s ability to commentate especially with his longtime friend Tony Romo dominating ratings.

In addition to Witten’s continued desire to play during last season, it should’ve been easier for the Cowboys to bring him out retirement. As evident, that was the case. With Jason Witten’s return to the lineup, let’s see how he can impact the Cowboys.


While Witten was still productive near the end of his career, it seems a bit unreasonable to expect him to produce as much with a year away from the field. What Witten does provide is leadership and experience for a tight end group in need of both.

Geoff Swaim is currently a free agent and at this point he doesn’t seem likely to sign. Rico Gathers is proving to be a failed experiment after his 3rd year. Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz developed really nicely down the stretch but they’ve only played 3 seasons combined.

Witten is 36 years old with 16 seasons under his belt. He was a consistent target for Romo and Dak and everyone knows how consistent he was at blocking. His all-rounded skill set and consistency is fantastic for this tight end group that has players with different abilities.

Jarwin is more athletic than Schultz and more than Witten ever was. However, what made Witten great was his ability to use his leverage and his intelligence. With Jarwin having the chance to learn from someone who was extremely cerebral at his position, it should hopefully make Jarwin a more effective receiving target.

Schultz was a good blocker at Stanford and he proved down the stretch to be the better blocker when Swaim was out. Having someone like Witten in prime development time should help Schultz become a more valuable asset to this team.


This is different from mentor ship because Witten was a captain before his retirement. The entire coaching staff and front office loved Witten because of his personality, work ethic, and leadership ability to get the most out of his teammates.

Dallas had the youngest roster amongst playoff teams and the sixth youngest team in the league according to Hero Sports. The Cowboys are in big need of a leader who has been in the league for a long time and has the consistency of Witten. While Sean Lee continues to hang around for the defense, Witten would provide the same for the offense.

Witten has the expectation that his teammates are working as hard as him; this has its pros and cons. Witten loves to compete and win, this energy can rub onto the whole team and energize the team. He’s been through a lot of situations at this point in his career he knows how to handle them.

This is important for a young team looking to take the next step in their quest for a Super Bowl. Witten’s intensity and leadership should help the Cowboys stay motivated in hopes of getting better and closer to the ultimate goal.

However, Witten’s intensity and work ethic have caused some to rub the wrong way. Martellus Bennett was known for saying he hated playing behind Jason Witten because he wouldn’t stop getting onto him. Fortunately for Bennett, his career ended successfully in other places. In addition, the Cowboys couldn’t groom a tight end behind Witten because Witten wanted most of the snaps.

Even without Bennett’s complaint, it’s been stated that Witten lacks some patience when dealing with people who aren’t as motivated or aren’t as intelligent. This team has different and young characters so it will be important for Witten to relate to them in a way that doesn’t cause them to be upset.

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Witten was quite productive in 2017 with 63 receptions, 560 yards, and 5 touchdowns as the starting tight end. In a year where the Cowboys offense took a hit, he was oddly a bright spot with few dropped passes and a high catch percentage of 72.4%.

These stats are on Pro Football Reference.

This time around, we should temper the expectations on how much we think Witten will play and how much he will produce. There’s no doubt Witten wants to win a championship, he might realize the best way to do that is to play fewer snaps.

Schultz and Jarwin have the ability to provide consistent output as tight ends while providing different match-up issues against opposing teams. In addition to the new hire of Kellen Moore as OC, it might be in Witten’s best interest to reduce his snap count. As mentioned, Witten was notorious for taking up other players play time because he felt the team had the best chance of winning with him on the field. This might not be the case anymore.

Next. How does Randy Gregory's Suspension impact Dallas?. dark

Signing Witten back for one more year should give the Cowboys a morale boost at the very least. His future statistical production shouldn’t be too much, but his insight and leadership should help this team take the next step before the Cowboys are forced to sign long term contracts to their young stars.

  • Published on 02/28/2019 at 20:46 PM
  • Last updated at 02/28/2019 at 20:46 PM