Jason Witten: Iconic Dallas Cowboys Player

Jason Witten is an American football player is a member of the Dallas Cowboys. In 2018 Witten also became a sports analyst and broadcaster for the ESPN show, entitled Monday Night Football, before coming out of retirement and starting again as a player for the Cowboys in 2019. Witten was a three-year starter for his high school’s football team, and he also played as the linebacker and tight end before he went on to play college football for the University of Tennessee in 2000. During his junior year at the university, Witten was picked by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Through his long career with the Dallas Cowboys, Witten managed to set several personal and team records. Aside from that, Wittens also ranked second in all-time career receptions.

Early Life

Born on May 6, 1982, Jason Witten the third son of Ed Witten and Kimberly Witten Barnett. They raised Jason in Washington, D.C., where Jason’s father worked as a mailman, he eventually became addicted to alcohol and drugs, which led to an abusive relationship between Jason’s mother and his two older brothers Ryan and Shawn.

When Jason Witten was 11 years old, he was sent to his grandparents in Elizabethton at the age of 11. There, he began playing football as a linebacker and tight end under his grandfather’s supervision, Dave Rider. Witten attended Elizabethton High School, where he became a three-year starter that helped his team qualify for the state semi-finals three times. During his senior year, Witten managed to earn both All-American and All-State honors.

College Career

In 2000, Jason Witten enrolled in the University of Tennessee on scholarship. He was promised the position of defensive end, however, because he experienced several injuries, Witten was moved to the offensive side midway through the season. While he said that he considered transferring, Witten still stayed because he was given the time to play as a blocker.

Witten gave out a fantastic performance during his junior year, and he managed to register about 39 receptions with 493 receiving yards along with five touchdowns as a tight end. Aside from that, he also received an Academic All-SEC honor. Witten played only 20 games as a tight end when he decided to enter the NFL Draft after his junior season. However, he still ranked third all-time within the school with 68 receptions.

Professional Career

During the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft, Jason Witten was selected as the 69th overall pick by the Dallas Cowboys. Witten entered the league as a 20-year-old rookie, and he made his NFL debut with a 27–13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. When the Dallas Cowboys played against the Arizona Cardinals, Witten broke his jaw and went through major surgery. However, Witten continued to play through the injury, and he missed only one game. That same season, Witten was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team for the season, and he also finished the year with 35 receptions for 347 yards plus a touchdown.

Witten led the NFC with 87 catches as a tight end during the 2004 season, and he was also selected to his first Pro Bowl. In the next two seasons, Witten had repeated his success because he had at least 60 receptions, and he was also named to Pro Bowl every year.

In 2007, Witten broke his single-season because he had a total of 96 receptions. That same year, Witten was once again selected to the Pro Bowl and made it to the All-Pro team. Aside from that, he was also nominated for the ‘Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.’

Before the 2012 season started, Jason Witted got a lacerated spleen. However, he was still able to play in the 2012 season, where he became the second player in Dallas Cowboy’s history as well as a third tight end in NFL history ever to have 700+ catches. Aside from that, Witten was also the youngest player to reach the milestone, and he managed to finish the season qualifying for his eighth consecutive Pro Bowl.

During the next season, Witten beat Shannon Sharpe and had the second most receptions as a tight end in the whole of NFL history. Witten became the third tight end that had 10,000 career receiving yards. After the 2017 season, Witten announced that he would be retiring, and after that, he joined ESPN as an analyst on a show called Monday Night Football. But after a year, Witten announced that he would come out of retirement for the 2019 season.