Witten Calls It Quits

I’ve been extremely fortunate over the years to see some excellent tight ends play in this league. Shannon Sharpe is the best I’ve ever seen because of how he was used. He could play wide as if he were a receiver, inside, he could block and he caught everything thrown to him. Next of course is Tony Gonzalez who was extremely consistent throughout his career and he will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame next Summer without a doubt and we also have Rob Gronkowski who has broken several records. I want to add a guy to this conversation and that’s Jason Witten. After 15 seasons in the league as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, he has decided to call it a career and retire.

When I think of Jason Witten, I think of a guy who was extremely reliable and durable. He was always on the field and he led by example with his actions more so than his words. Whenever you needed a guy to make a play for you to get you some yards, move the chains on third down or be used as that red zone threat, that was number 82 for you. Back when Tony Romo was still playing, I often referred to Jason as his “security blanket” because when his other receivers were taken away on the outside, Jason was always there to make that catch for him. Standing at 6’6, he was a big target and mismatch for defenses and he used his height to his advantage. He was always a problem over the middle and the crazy thing is defenses knew he’d be running over the middle and they still couldn’t stop it. He was never the fastest guy on the field, but he was extremely crafty and also used smarts to his advantage. When he would catch the football, he was very shifty and could make people miss in the open field. He was the complete package when it came to being a tight end. He could catch it and make something happen with the football in his hands, he could block and he was tough (I often think of a play in Philadelphia in 2007 when he made the catch and lost his helmet, but decided to still run).

Jason is a lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in five years. He was an eleven-time pro bowler and finished his career with 1,152 receptions, 12,448 receiving yards and 68 touchdowns over his career. What a career he had and he will be missed.