Jason Witten hangs up the pads after 15 seasons in the NFL

After all of this, the Cowboys should let Dez Bryant go

The 35-year-old, who is widely regarded as one of the best tight ends in NFL history, is expected to join ESPN's "Monday Night Football" broadcast booth.

Witten, who turns 36 on Sunday, could not be reached for comment.

Jason Witten never even hinted that his 15th season with the Dallas Cowboys would be the tight end's last, suggesting as recently as two weeks ago he meant to return.

An 11-time Pro Bowl performer, Witten holds a secure place in Cowboys history thanks to franchise records in games (239), catches (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448). He trails only Tony Gonzalez for most career receptions and yards by a tight end, and he was one of the best blockers to ever play the position.

ESPN.com's Todd Archer reported Witten will join ESPN's broadcast of Monday Night Football.

And playing behind the durable Witten, he'd managed a paltry nine catches in 28 games over three seasons of work. He is third on all-time on Cowboys for touchdown receptions.


Here's a closer look at Witten's retirement gift. Tennessee Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer coached Witten at UT and famously had the Elizabethton, Tenn., native switch to tight end during his freshman season after beginning his career as a defensive end. Witten also earned consensus first-team All-SEC recognition in 2002 after establishing a then single-season school-record for catches (39) and receiving yards (493) by a tight end.

"Whenever young kids come up to me and ask me, 'How do you grow up and play for the Dallas Cowboys, and have that type of career?'" Witten said.

"I was never the most talented". He won't be the first Hall of Famer without a Super Bowl ring.

The Cowboys are high on Blake Jarwin and hope that former Baylor basketball player Rico Gathers can develop after missing his entire second season with a concussion.

Witten, though, was not able to feature in an NFC championship game and help end a current 23-year drought without a Superbowl win for a team with five Lombardi trophies. The Cowboys don't have a ready made replacement for Witten like they did for Tony Romo when Prescott took over, but the Cowboys did draft Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz in the fourth round with the No. 137 pick.

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