If there’s one thing we’ve learned throughout Jason Witten’s career, it’s that it’s tough to keep him off the field. Even still, FOX Sports is giving it a shot. Reportedly, according to Sporting News, the Dallas Cowboys’ veteran is being eyed by FOX to take over the “Thursday Night Football” analyst role.
Many former Cowboys have gotten into the show business side of the NFL. Just last year, Tony Romo hung up the cleats to pursue a career in broadcasting and he absolutely killed it during his “rookie season” for CBS.
But Jason Witten isn’t going through the same situation in which Romo found himself in 2017. Tony had dealt with a lot of serious injuries throughout his career and had just been benched by Dak Prescott. Witten, despite being 35-years old, is the team’s starting tight end.
After the 2017 NFL season ended, Witten told the media he’s playing in 2018.
With free agency beginning this week, the future Hall of Famer has been in the minds of a lot of fans. If the Cowboys were to release him, they’d save $6.95M without a single dollar in dead money. With Witten’s production declining little by little and the team lacking cap space, one inevitably has to wonder.
At the end of the day, if we’re talking about Dez Bryant’s cap hit and lack of production, why are not talking about Jason Witten?
Trust me, I know and I understand why. Heck, Jason Witten is my favorite player of all time and I’m sure he has a very special place in all of Cowboys fans’ hearts. It would be very, very painful to see him call it a career without a much-deserved ring.
It’s tough to part ways with a player like Jason Witten, who has meant so much for an NFL franchise that has struggled a lot for such a long time. Since the moment he got to Dallas, Witten has been the Dallas Cowboy.
However you feel about his performance the last couple of years, he probably won’t go anywhere unless he decides to retire. I might be wrong, ultimately the NFL is a business and that’s something we shouldn’t forget. Witten has been important for this offense and for Dak Prescott’s development, but it’s time for the Cowboys to get younger and better at tight end.
Even still, without Witten, there’s really no one who can come in and fill his shoes. Although Rico Gathers would make for an amazing story, it’s fair to assume he won’t be nothing special. The tight end free agents this year mostly offer older veterans who wouldn’t make sense for the Cowboys if what they’re looking for is getting younger.
Trey Burton from the Philadelphia Eagles could be an interesting target for this team if they can get him at a fair price.
Other than that, if they want to acquire the team’s future tight end, they’ll have to do it through the Draft, which they’ll probably do. Having Witten on the roster allows the team to look for a TE in the third round or later, but without Witten, it’d become an even bigger need.
The solution, rather than getting rid of Jason Witten altogether, may be in establishing a game plan which reduces the veteran’s workload while giving a younger tight end an important role, especially as a receiving threat. Similar to what the Chargers have done with Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry.
For now, Jason Witten will get ready to get back on the field next season, the Cowboys will make some hard decisions and FOX Sports will try to land yet another America’s Team legend. It looks like Witten will stick to football for at least one more year, though. Hopefully, this time, it’s worth it. Hopefully, this year he wins the Big One.