After the Dallas Cowboys reportedly added a tight ends coach, it apparently opened the door to the possibility of Jason Witten joining the New York Giants.
For nearly 18 years, one name has been synonymous with the Dallas Cowboys. And that’s tight end Jason Witten. The future Hall of Famer has proudly worn the Star since 2003. But could that change this offseason?
Witten famously retired as a member of the Cowboys in 2018 to become the color analyst of ESPN’s Monday Night Football for one season. After receiving mixed reviews as a commentator, he returned to the field for Dallas last year, posting 63 receptions for 529 yards and four touchdowns as a 16-game starter.
Unfortunately, the 8-8 Cowboys couldn’t reward Witten’s return from retirement with a playoff berth, leaving the 37-year old reconsidering his future this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. It’s known Witten wants to pursue coaching once his playing career is over. But it’s unknown whether he’s ready to actually hang up his cleats.
There seemed to be an opportunity for Witten to transition to tight ends coach for the Cowboys earlier this month when new head coach Mike McCarthy shifted Doug Nussmeier to quarterbacks coach. Yet that window closed quickly after McCarthy reportedly hired former New York Giants tight ends coach Lunda Wells to take that same position in Dallas.
And with the recent announcement that the Giants have hired former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett as offensive coordinator, it seems to have open the door for Witten to possibly head to New York instead.
On Sunday, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Cowboys longtime tight end hasn’t ruled out playing this season. And that includes a possible reunion with Garrett in the Big Apple.
Last season, there seemed to be some sentiment that Witten, a 16-year NFL veteran, was holding back the growth of 25-year old tight end Blake Jarwin. While Witten was retired, Jarwin was the Cowboys’ top tight end target in 2018 recording 27 catches for 307 yards and three scores.
But the fact is Jarwin actually posted improved numbers playing alongside Witten last season. The three-year tight end recorded 31 receptions for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Jarwin also started in four more games than the previous season without Witten, jumping from four to seven starts in 2019.
With both Witten and Jarwin set to be unrestricted free agents come March, the Cowboys’ new coaching staff has some tough decisions to make about the future of the tight end position in Dallas.
For Dallas Cowboys fans, seeing Jason Witten playing in any other uniform would be odd. Seeing Witten in the uniform of a divisional rival like the New York Giants would be near sacrilege. But regardless of how his career ends, Witten will undoubtedly forever be known as one of the greatest players ever to wear the Star.