Published: Sun, April 29, 2018
Health Care | By Terrence Lopez

Jerry Jones: Witten to take 'a few more days' to mull retirement

Jerry Jones: Witten to take 'a few more days' to mull retirement

After averaging 11 yards-per-catch for most of his career, Witten has averaged under 10 yards-a-catch the last three seasons - including a career-low 8.9 in 2017.

Neither Witten, ESPN nor the Cowboys has publicly responded to reports of his impending retirement.

On Friday afternoon Jerry Jones read a prepared statement with some ad-lib about where the team stands with Witten. He went on to catch 927 passes for 11,508 yards and 114 touchdowns, an National Football League scoring record for a tight end.

A third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2003, Witten had 1,152 catches for 12,448 yards.

A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that tight end Antonio Gates will not return for a 16th season with the Chargers.

Witten has amassed 1,152 career receptions while in Dallas - the fourth most in National Football League history. (South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst might have been a reach for Dallas at 19, as he was for Baltimore at 25, but he was there for the taking, too.) The Cowboys took a linebacker, and it's possible that even with the events of Friday, they would have selected Vander Esch there.

If Witten leaves Dallas, it's the second straight year that a Cowboys star is retiring to go into broadcasting.

Witten has appeared in every game since sitting out Week 5 of his rookie season.

It was the first sign of Witten's legendary toughness. In 2012, he suffered a lacerated spleen in a preseason game against the Oakland Raiders but managed to get cleared medically hours before the regular-season opener against the Giants.

The decision by Witten also would mean the Cowboys have lost two of their top three players in career touchdown catches this month. "I hope he's super critical", Prescott said. That's how you do it. I think we've given him some playmaking with the receiver.

Witten would be ESPN's second choice, according to the Post, after Peyton Manning passed. He and his wife, Michelle, have four young children. The first round of the draft combined for 11.2 million viewers through broadcasts on Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and the NFL Network, a 22-percent increase over a year ago. The foundation was inspired by his family's experience growing up with domestic violence.

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