Sep 28, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) runs after a reception in the fourth quarter against New Orleans Saints safety Rafael Bush (25) at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Saints 38-17. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
3. Jason Witten, Tight End
Jason Witten is a nine time Pro Bowler, the 2012 Walton Payton Man of the Year and is destined to head to the Cowboys Ring of Honor. Often referred to as the Cowboys comfort blanket, he holds the NFL record for number of catches in a season by a tight end. This season though we’ve seen a different style of play from Witten and too the Cowboys.
We’ve not had the last gasp Romo to Witten end zone receptions that we’ve become accustom to. Instead we’ve seen him blocking and helping create holes for DeMarco Murray to run through. Perhaps this year even more so than others, we can appreciate just what Witten does for this team. As Zack Martin said:
"“He’s all about the team. He doesn’t care that he’s not getting the ball. He’s out there blocking like an offensive linemen. It’s really like having six offensive linemen on the field.”"
And it’s Witten’s appreciation for the wider view on things that is so refreshing in today’s game.
"“You try to be a complete tight end and always take pride in blocking…But to be able to have a really good running game, especially when you run the wide-zone scheme like we do, you have to be able to set the edges, because those are where the one-on-one match-ups are. If that never gets secure, then the run game never gets off the ground. I’ve always tried to take a lot of pride in that.”"
The Dallas Cowboys has never been solely about Jason Witten. But take away his contributions over his time here and it’s hard to imagine what the side would look like. Even now, with his role so different he’s still fundamental in the success the side has. Long may it continue.