Ahead of Jason Witten on the all time list of receptions for TEs are only 2 names. They are Shannon Sharpe, and the greatest TE to ever play the game, the aforementioned Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez was coaxed by the Falcons into returning for one more season. He’s going to continue to put his TE records into the stratosphere and I do not believe Witten will catch him even though he is on a faster pace than Gonzalez was throughout his magnificent career. It’s simply a case of Gonzalez being so good for so long. That’s hard, if not impossible, to duplicate. That’s why Emmitt’s record may not fall for a very long time if it ever does.
Early in 2013, barring a catastrophe, Witten will move past Sharpe on the all time list for receptions by a TE. Probably in the season opening game against the Giants in fact. Jason Witten enters the season with 811 career receptions. Shannon Sharpe, number 2 on the all time TEs list, stands at 815 for his career. 5 more and Witten moves into 2nd all time. Assuming Randy Moss (he may not, as he is unsigned right now) is going to play in 2013 it would mean only 3 active players are ahead of Witten on the all time list. Topping the list of course is Gonazalez who is 2nd on the all time NFL receptions list with 1242, behind only the great Jerry Rice, whose records are untouchable. The others ahead of him are Moss, Reggie Wayne, and Andre Johnson. Witten will not catch Moss or Wayne this year, but if Johnson continues to have injury issues Witten might surpass him with another big year. As of right now Johnson is 7 ahead of Witten on the all time list.
Witten is already 26th on the all time receptions list, and if he does anything close to what he has for the last few years he will pass a lot of names on the list. For the sake of perspective let’s assume Witten grabs 90 more receptions this year. That is a safe assumption, and it is 20 below his record setting 2012. That would put him at 901 for his career. That would move him up to 15th on the all time NFL list and in the process he would pass 2 Hall of Famers, Sharpe and Steve Largent. No doubt about it, Witten has, and is having, a truly amazing career in the NFL.
There are a lot of fans who don’t care a thing for stats like these. For them the only stats that matter are wins and losses. Look at how much wonder and awe you can miss out on if you don’t care about individual stats. Last year in the second half of the season Dez Bryant was arguably the most dangerous receiving threat in the NFL. If he plays all 16 games of 2013 on the pace he was setting in the last 8 games of 2012 we may be watching him chase some single season records. For the sake of goals to shoot for, and root for, Michael Irvin holds the team record for receptions at 111 as mentioned earlier. Irvin also holds the record for receiving yards at 1603. Terrell Owens holds the team record for TD grabs with 15. I’d love to see all 3 records fall in a spectacular full season by Dez. How is that anything but exciting to hope for?