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.
Cowboys Offseason: Landon Collins Cleaned Out Locker, Set to be FA
It's no secret that the Dallas Cowboys are heading into the 2019 offseason looking to upgrade at the safety position on a defense that finished inside the top 10 in 2018. With much of the focus on Earl Thomas, New York Giants Safety Landon Collins has become the center of attention in the last couple of days.
Per a report by Josina Anderson, Collins cleaned out his locker on Wednesday as he gets ready to go into free agency for the first time.
I'm told that Giants S Landon Collins cleaned out his locker today at the team facility and said his goodbyes to teammates, coaches and trainers. It doesn't seem like Collins expects to be a Giant for much longer, per sources.
After Paul Schwartz attempted to assert that there was no claim to the report...
Attention those who care about the New York Giants: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Repeat: Landon Collins HAS NOT cleaned out his locker at the team facility. Go about your business and have a nice day.
And Landon Collins had this to say...
If cleaning out a locker is any kind of evidence, then Collins is prepared to hit the market when free agency opens on March 13th. He joins a loaded safety group that includes Thomas, Houston Texans Safety Tyrann Mathieu, Los Angeles Rams Safety LaMarcus Joyner, Glover Quin of the Detroit Lions, Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix formerly of the Green Bay Packers, but most recently of the Washington Redskins, and several others who could find new homes this offseason.
The Cowboys are very familiar with Landon Collins, as they've seen him nearly twice a year over the last four years. The three time Pro Bowler was one of the best players on the Giants defense. They would line him up in the box and at time use him to cover Cole Beasley.
Collins ranked first in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus in run stop percentage at 7.2%. Meaning on running snaps, he made a tackle that rendered the running play ineffective 7.2% of the time.For further reference, Jeff Heath made a run stop on 4.2% of his run plays, which was 15th in the NFL among safeties.
The only positions to have more of an impact on the running game were linebackers and the defensive line. Even if you include linebackers, his run stop percentage was 31st in the NFL. Leighton Vander Esch led the Dallas Cowboys with a run stop percentage of 11.3%, which was third among linebackers. Collins number nearly matched the run stop percentage of Jaylon Smith at 7.6%.
Add Collins to a defense that stops the run as well as the Dallas Cowboys did last season and you take your team to another level against the run.
Landon Collins will probably get the most money this offseason. He's only 25 and has had success in the NFL. Many teams will be reaching out to Collins when free agency opens and the Dallas Cowboys should certainly be one of those teams. Collins would be an excellent addition to the Dallas Cowboys defense and would allow Xavier Woods to stay in his role as the free safety.
We're just under three weeks away from the start of NFL free agency and the drama will only get bigger as the Cowboys look to add to their team.
Report: Free Agent DL David Irving Not in Dallas Cowboys’ 2019 Plans
The Dallas Cowboys and troubled Defensive Lineman David Irving appear to be at an impasse. According to a report from David Moore of the Dallas Morning News, the team has "no intention" of trying to re-sign Irving and will allow him to become an unrestricted free agent.
Irving started the 2018 season with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He only appeared in two games after that, registering one sack and four tackles.
Source: Cowboys have no intention of keeping DT David Irving at this time https://t.co/vqMNZty6Aq via @sportsdaydfw
Despite reports of David's ongoing issues with an ankle injury, Dallas never placed him on injured reserve. Then came the reports that Irving was missing practices and team meetings while dealing with personal issues related to the custody of his daughter.
The team stayed pretty mum on the subject of Irving's status throughout the year, falling back on the ankle injury when pushed. But after months, it became clear that either David, the team, or both parties were disinterested in his return to football.
The Cowboys had high hopes after 2017, when Irving posted seven sacks in just eight games. They placed a second-round tender on him last offseason as a restricted free agent and were surely ready to give him a long-term deal if he'd built on that success.
But David's issues, physical or otherwise, have clearly done the opposite.
Dallas is known for working with troubled players, as we've recently seen with Randy Gregory. That they're closing the book on Irving suggests there's an issue with his desire towards football.
It's a sad loss for both. David's potential is enormous, as evidenced by his productivity when he actually does play. But he appears more likely to hit the Commissioner's exempt list in 2019 than the football field, given the reports of multiple failed drug tests over the last year.
Hopefully David Irving can turn things around one day and capitalize on his talent. But if it ever happens, it appears that it won't be with the Dallas Cowboys.
BREAKING: WR Terrance Williams Gets Dropped by Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys have ended their six-year relationship with Wide Receiver Terrance Williams. According to multiple sources, they have declined a team option on Williams' contract and he will now be an unrestricted free agent in 2019.
The move will reportedly save the Cowboys $2.25 million in salary space this year.
Williams was the team's third-round pick in 2013 and started 68 of the 83 games he played in. He developed into a solid number-two receiver by the end of his rookie deal in 2016 and was given a new four-year contract that offseason.
Terrance Williams career w/ the Cowboys is done. Sources say the club has declined the WR's option for 2019, making him a free agent. The move is no surprise. He caught just 2 passes for 18 yards last season. His departure frees up $2.25 million on the cap.
After another decent year in 2017, things took a bad turn for Terrance last season. It started with an offseason arrest for public intoxication that eventually led to a three-game suspension, although Williams served that while on injured reserve.
The Cowboys already appeared to be giving Williams' spot away when they made several offseason acquisitions at WR; Allen Hurns, Michael Gallup, and Tavon Austin all were brought in even before Terrance's arrest.
While Williams did start in two of Dallas' first three games in 2018, he only had three passes his thrown his way. The team finally put him on IR due to ongoing complications with a surgically-repaired foot.
While it didn't end well, Terrance Williams' time in Dallas was ultimately a solid return for a third-round pick. He made a few big plays and was a proficient run-blocker, good enough to start in almost 75% of the team's games since he was drafted.
The Cowboys now hope that another third-round pick, Michael Gallup in 2018, will do bigger and better things.
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