"I was never the most talented, flashiest. I relied on grit", Witten said. It's been said, whether right or wrong, it's better three hours too soon, than a minute too late. Witten's Hall of Fame-worthy resume includes 1,152 catches for 12,448 yards and 68 touchdowns. Despite head coach Jason Garrett wanting him back, the All-Pro is taking his talents elsewhere. With his retirement, long snapper L.P Ladouceur becomes the longest tenured Dallas player, followed by LB Sean Lee (whose own contract runs until 2019). Witten's move comes one year after friend and longtime teammate Tony Romo retired as the Cowboys' all-time passing leader to join CBS. His iconic moment came in 2007 when he ran almost 30 yards and was tackled without a helmet after it was knocked off in a collision with two defenders.
Remarkably, he did not miss a single game since the 2004 season as he went on to play a franchise record 239 total games, including 235 consecutive games for the Cowboys.
And after suffering his worst season since his rookie year in terms of yards received, with 560, Witten knew it was time to call it a day.
It has been a time of change in Dallas. In his prime, he garnered attention like a wide receiver. Another Dallas Cowboys player is coming to TV. The Cowboys also signed Allen Hurns from the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency last month.
The Cowboys drafted Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz in the fourth round of the NFL Draft in preparation of Witten's eventual departure. One of the top highlights of his collegiate career was catching the game-winning 25-yard touchdown in the Vols' 41-38 six-overtime victory over Arkansas in 2002. "The number of times I told young players, veteran players, every play, 'Watch No. 82, do it like he does it.' It was incredible". "We're all focused on results and they are important - but what you learn as you get older is that the journey is the reward". Last year, Romo had lost his job to Dak Prescott while injured and was deciding whether to continue his career with another team. "It's a unique opportunity to join a good team, and to be able to partner with a lot of guys that share that same passion, and a huge platform to share our love for this great game".