Many expect tomorrow to be Jason Witten’s final game with the Dallas Cowboys. If so, it is the tight end’s last opportunity to tie or eclipse Dez Bryant as the franchise leader in receiving touchdowns.
Dez currently sits on top of the list with 73 scoring catches. With four touchdowns during this comeback season in 2019, Witten now has 72 heading into Week 17.
Remember, these records are only based on regular-season statistics. So even if the Cowboys make it into the playoffs, tomorrow is Jason’s last chance to catch Bryant this season.
Witten already holds the Cowboys’ records for career catches and receiving yards. Passing Bryant for number-one on the TD list would give him the unofficial “Triple Crown” of receiving records.
Even if Jason doesn’t retire from the NFL this offseason, it’s hard to see him being back with Dallas in 2020. While returning from retirement this year made for a nice story, Witten clearly isn’t able to be a consistent threat anymore.
The likely parting between the Cowboys and Jason Garrett is also a factor. Witten probably wouldn’t have come back to Dallas at all if not for his close relationship with the head coach.
So whether it’s due to retirement or just the end of his one-year contract, Jason Witten appears to be headed into his final regular-season game with The Star on his helmet. That means he needs two touchdowns against the Redskins to leapfrog Dez Bryant on the all-time list.
Witten hasn’t had a game with multiple TD catches this season. In fact, he hasn’t had one since Week 1 of the 2015 season. So you Dez fans out there should be feeling pretty safe right now.
However, you never know what can happen. If this game gets out of hand in one fashion or another, or if the Eagles are running away with their game in New York and knocking Dallas out of the playoffs, perhaps the play-calls will start leaning in Witten’s favor. We’ve seen coaches and teammates help guys chase records before.
Jason Witten will likely walk off the Cowboys roster following tomorrow’s finale. But only time will tell if he will walk out with Dez Bryant’s record.