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A Reminder To The World: Jason Witten Is An All-Time Great

Let me start by saying that Gil Brandt is the Godfather when it comes to the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys. He has forgotten and dismissed more about the game of football than I or any of us will ever know. Capeesh? Capeesh. As loyal members of Cowboys Nation we can admittedly look at things through America’s Team-tinted glasses.

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Headlines - A Reminder To The World: Jason Witten Is An All-Time Great

Let me start by saying that Gil Brandt is the Godfather when it comes to the NFL and the Dallas Cowboys. He has forgotten and dismissed more about the game of football than I or any of us will ever know. Capeesh? Capeesh.

As loyal members of Cowboys Nation we can admittedly look at things through America's Team-tinted glasses. Our guys are always the greatest. Our stuff is the best. You get the picture.

Mr. Brandt poked the Cowboys Twitter Bear on Wednesday when he sent this tweet/poll.

Gil Brandt on Twitter

Who's the best NFL tight end of all-time?

Well well well. Look who's not on this list. Settle down, we're going to address Jason Witten. Don't worry!

This is obviously a subjective practice and the parameters aren't defined. There are many different types of tight ends: receiving threats, blocking specialists, complete packages... so how do we define best?

I'm an objective thinker and that's the way that I believe we can most fairly decide anything in life, the Greatest Tight End of All Time certainly falls under the umbrella of anything so let's give it a shot.

 

Player Receptions Yards Touchdowns Seasons
Mike Ditka 427 5,812 43 12
Rob Gronkowski 380 5,555 65 6
Ozzie Newsome 662 7,980 47 13
Kellen Winslow 541 6,741 45 9
Jason Witten 1,020 11,215 60 13
Tony Gonzalez 1,325 15,127 111 17

 

It would appear on June 23rd, 2016 that the Greatest Tight End of All Time is Tony Gonzalez, who, like Jason Witten, is absent from Mr. Brandt's poll.

Obviously, the large contingency of us would like to count Jason Witten as the best ever, but that's simply not true. He is the only other one in the Thousand Yard Catches and Over Ten Thousand Yards clubs with ToGo, but it is very unlikely that he will catch him before he hangs them up. If it's any consolation to you, I named Jason Witten the Greatest #82 in Dallas Cowboys History.

Mr. Brandt seemed to get a lot of flack on Twitter for including Rob Gronkowski in this pool of greatness. While Gronk and Jason Witten are the lone active members we've discussed today, it is worth nothing that if we assume Gronk maintains a pace similar to the one he's had during the first six years of his career, that he is going to completely shatter all of these records. Consider that he has more touchdowns than Witten, a statistic many people care about, with almost a third of the catches and a half of the yards. That's insane!

Surely Mr. Brandt meant no disrespect to - as Tony Romo referred to him - the Greatest Dallas Cowboy ever. Similarly we mean no disrespect to Mr. Brandt. We just want some respect shown to one of the best to ever put a Star on his head - Jason Witten.

Where do you think Jason Witten ranks as far as the Greatest Tight Ends in NFL History are concerned? Let us know! Comment below, Email me at RJ@RJOchoaShow.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "A Reminder To The World: Jason Witten Is An All-Time Great" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. John Williams

    John Williams

    June 24, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    Great work RJ. Mr. Brandt deserves a ton of respect, however I feel that his work with NFL.com has gotten really poor. That said. Any all-time TE list that doesn't include Witten is a bad list. To not include Witten or Gonzales (the greatest in my opinion), is a travesty, imo. Not only was Tony a great receiver (the stats bear that out) he was a part of some great rushing straka the Chiefs put out there (Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson, Marcus Allen, Jamaal Charles). To Witten. He has been as important to the Cowboys as any other player not named Romo. His consistency, attitude, leadership, integrity are stabilizing factors for an organization that was once mired in instability. It will be a sad day when 82 hangs em up. Hopefully, Stephen will do the smart thing and convince him to take a role with the coaching staff. He would make an excellent coach.

  2. RJ Ochoa

    RJ Ochoa

    June 25, 2016 at 10:24 am

    Thanks, John!

    I agree completely with everything you're saying. Especially with the success ToGo had in KC's run game. Those stats aren't as "wow" as their catches, yards, and touchdowns… But both Witten and Gonzalez have been a part of great ground games which suggests how great of blockers they are.

    Sent from my iPhone using Pigskin Hub – Pro Football Forums mobile app

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Cowboys Sign WR Devin Smith, Former 2nd-Round Pick

Jess Haynie

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Devin Smith

The Dallas Cowboys have reportedly signed Receiver Devin Smith, previously with the New York Jets, to a futures contract. Smith was a 2nd-round pick, 37th overall, in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Before going pro, Devin was a college teammate of current Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott, Rod Smith, and Noah Brown. They were all members of the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes team that won the National Championship.

Smith's agent, Jason Bernstein, tweeting the following earlier today:

Jason Bernstein on Twitter

Congrats to WR Devin Smith @dsmithosu for signing with the #DallasCowboys! Welcome back. https://t.co/hCMYoE8fEh

Thus far, Smith's NFL career has been marred by injuries. He has suffered two ACL tears in the same knee and only been able to appear in 14 games. He was waived by the Jets last summer and was not with any team last season.

Overall, the 2015 class of receivers has been disappointing. Amari Cooper has been a star and other later-round picks like Tyler Lockett, Stefon Diggs, and Jamison Crowder have been good. But the other big names of the class, such as Kevin White, Breshad Perriman, and DeVante Parker, have not lived up to the hype.

The Cowboys are known for trying to reclaim players who once had high draft status and bad starts to their careers. They are clearly hoping to cash in on Smith's previously perceived potential, which had him projected as a possible first-round talent at one time.

For both Devin and Dallas' sake, we hope it's a success!



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DeMarcus Lawrence Named Top Free Agent Of The 2019 Class

Kevin Brady

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Breaking Down DeMarcus Lawrence's League High 5.5 Sacks Through Week 4

Much has been made about the Dallas Cowboys 2019 free agent class. Dallas has a ton of cap space moving forward, but they are going to "have" to pay many of the key players on their roster over the next two offseasons in order to keep their young core together.

Of course, when you're drafting, that's the goal. To draft so well that when your own players become free agents, you go ahead and pay them to keep them around, rather than overpay on the free agent market for external players.

One of the major pieces the Cowboys will have to retain this offseason is defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence. And while Cowboys Nation often thinks of Lawrence as underrated around the league, the NFL has caught onto his importance as he enters free agency this Spring.

ESPN.com ranked their top 10 free agents for 2019, with DeMarcus Lawrence clocking in at number one, over elite players like Jadeveon Clowney and Le'Veon Bell.

ig: josinaanderson on Twitter

ESPN's top 10 free agents for 2019 and what Le'Veon Bell should be looking to command based on previous measures. https://t.co/aJ7H1n001t

DeMarcus Lawrence is going to command big time money, likely even Khalil Mack-type money. But the fact of the matter is that he has earned it. Lawrence has been the heart and soul of the Cowboys defensive line the last two seasons, and the most consistent edge player on the team as well.

Not only has he been an effective pass rusher, but DeMarcus Lawrence also plays with a relentless motor against the run that can sometimes be rare to find in those premier pass rushers. He really is a jack of all trades at defensive end, and should be priority number one for the Cowboys this offseason.

Thankfully, I can't imagine the Cowboys not retaining DeMarcus Lawrence and extending him in the coming months.



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When it Mattered Most, Cowboys Offensive Line Protected Dak Prescott

John Williams

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All-22 Notes: Connor Williams Stands Out in Wild Card Win

Throughout the 2018 NFL season, one of the major story lines surrounding the Dallas Cowboys was how frequently Dak Prescott was taking sacks. It's an area that the Cowboys will have to look at in the offseason to better protect their franchise quarterback moving forward. In the playoffs, however, Dak Prescott and the offensive line were much better at keeping their prized possession upright than they were in the regular season.

In the regular season, Dak Prescott was sacked 56 times for an average of 3.5 times a game. There was only one game where he wasn't sacked at all, way back in week two against the New York Giants. Four times this season, the Cowboys' quarterback was sacked five or more times. The New Orleans Saints got him for a season high seven times.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dak was "kept clean" -- not pressured -- on 63% of his drop backs during the regular season, which ranked 25th in the NFL. When kept clean, Prescott completed 74.1% of his passes, which was good for 5th in the NFL during the regular season. He was under pressure 37% of the time, which was the sixth highest rate in the NFL and his completion percentage dropped to 52.6%, still good for 10th in the NFL. It was better than Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Baker Mayfield.

During the playoffs, Prescott's "kept clean" percentage rose from 63% to 68% and he was only sacked once in each game. The one sack against the Los Angeles Rams probably shouldn't have been called a sack as the referee blew the whistle because Prescott was "in the grasp"...

...of his offensive lineman.

During the playoffs, the Cowboys offensive line kept the pressure off of Prescott at a better rate, allowing him to be pressured on only 31.9% of his drop backs. Meaning he was kept clean at an improved rate from the regular season at 68.1% of his drop backs. This while playing against two teams that are really good at rushing the passer. The Los Angeles Rams and the Seattle Seahawks both finished in the top half of the league in sacks this season and feature players like Aaron Donald, Jarran Reed, and Frank Clark who all had double-digit sacks.

As we know, pressure rates and sacks aren't all completely on the offensive line. The quarterback, wide receivers, and the play calling all factor in, but the Cowboys are trending in the right direction with their pass protection. A full offseason for Connor Williams in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program, better health for Tyron Smith, Zack Martin, and -- fingers crossed -- Travis Frederick, should all help the offensive line play at a higher level heading into the 2019 season.

It can't be overstated how important it will be to get Travis Frederick back into the fold this season. Joe Looney was good, and that might be overstating it a bit. He was not noticeable on most plays during the season, but getting your All-Pro center back will tremendously help the offense in every facet of the game. Frederick's one of the smarter players in the NFL, who helps everyone on the offense to see the blitzes and calls out the protections. Both his mental and physical ability will be a welcomed site when the Cowboys begin practicing in the offseason.

With another year of growth for the quarterback and for the young pieces along the offensive line, and with a full offseason for Dak Prescott to grow with Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Blake Jarwin, the Cowboys should be better next season at keeping the quarterback clean.



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