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    Impact Of Jason Witten’s Absence May Be Greater Than Expected

    The Cowboys have experienced a lot of turnover on their roster since infamously losing at Green Bay during the 2014 . Most of these changes have been voluntary, as the Cowboys looked to revamp their aging roster with youth and athleticism, particularly in the .

    One of the most recent departures wasn't voluntary on the Cowboys' part, however, as veteran decided to retire after 15 incredible seasons. Of course, Witten's leaves a giant hole in the locker room, but most fans had accepted that his exit won't have too much effect on the field.

    After all, Jason Witten's play has clearly been declining over the last few seasons, especially his ability as a run blocker. The Cowboys haven't had a “seam busting” tight end whatsoever, and as the league move towards more wide open , Witten's archetype may die off.

    Despite that decline, I believe Witten's retirement will be felt more than most seem to expect. Even in his later years Witten remained the reliable third down option who can get to the sticks and find a way to get open. Sure, Witten only tallied 63 catches for 560 yards a season ago, but he also finished second on the team in touchdown receptions with 5. (Ironically, the Cowboys top two players in receiving touchdowns last season are both now off of the roster heading into 2018).

    The Cowboys offense is one built on running the football, but their glaring weakness through the air shined a ton in 2017. Losing 's only real reliable target is not exactly ideal.

    Since Witten's retirement, the Cowboys have added a new tight end through the draft. Stanford tight end was selected by the Cowboys in the fourth round of this years' , but as a day three pick with limited receiving experience it's fair to wonder how much he can bring to the .

    They also enter the season with veteran as TE1 and hype swirling around current TE2 . Then there is, of course, the hype train which refuses to die in spite of the loads of evidence that maybe it should.

    The player which may need to pick up Witten's slack in the isn't a tight end, however, it's . Prescott and Beasley seemed to develop a Romo/Witten-like chemistry during Dak's rookie season, but in 2017 their connection went completely missing.

    If the Cowboys offense is going to get back on track, and Witten's shoes are going to be filled, Beasley could be become a key piece in the passing game.

    Especially on those all-important third downs, where Prescott needs to get the ball out quickly and decisively.

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    Kevin Brady
    Kevin Bradyhttps://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com
    Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and have been with ITS since 2016.

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    Steve

    I believe that Dak and Zeke will prove to the haters what they have and what they are made of this year. Our defense should be better than recent years so that will take some of the pressure off the offense for a change.

    William Pep Hatcher

    Witten’s 7yda on 3&15 won’t be missed. Witten has to be the All Time most penalized player in Cowboy history. We’ll be fine without him.

    Travis Diggs

    Took the words right outta my mouth

    Travis Diggs

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news but Witten and Bryant have ben slowing this offense down for too long . Witten while at times serviceable couldn’t run a route past 6 yards and Dez could only run 3 routes .Teams were using 3rd and 4th corners to defend them last year, change has been coming for a while now

    William Pep Hatcher

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that really watches the games.