After 16 years of wearing the Silver and Blue for the Dallas Cowboys, Jason Witten will wear the Silver and Black for the Las Vegas Raiders. The legendary tight end will make it into the Hall of Fame one day but not before playing another year, even if it means doing it for a different team. This week, Cowboys fans saw their beloved “Mr. Reliable” wear another team’s uniform for the first time.
For many fans, this is a tough pill to swallow. It just doesn’t feel “normal.” I like to think that he felt just as weird trying on his new colors as we did when looking at these pictures. Gold Jacket Witt in the Silver and Black…
Of course, there are no hard feelings between Cowboys Nation and Witten. After all, he meant a lot to this fanbase and his departure wasn’t even his decision as much as it was the front office’s. A justified decision, too, for Jason’s production on the field hasn’t been the same for a while.
Even still, we know what Jason Witten meant to us. In an era in which the Dallas Cowboys never made it past the Divisional Round in the playoffs, Witten was always there. Many will question Tony Romo’s legacy for not being able to find postseason success, but Witten will never be held to that kind of scrutiny.
Witten’s greatness is simply not up for discussion. He’s fourth in receptions in the history of the NFL and leads the Cowboys’ franchise in games played (239). He’s one of the greatest tight ends to ever play the game with 12,997 receiving yards (most in DAL history) and 72 touchdowns, second behind Dez Bryant in franchise history. But hey, you know these facts by heart… and that’s exactly the point.
Witten has had a tough time quitting football. In 2018 he retired to become ESPN’s Monday Night Football color analyst and after just one season away, he decided to return with the Cowboys in 2019. Although his hands were still reliable, Witten’s impact on the field diminished as he posted 529 receiving yards (his lowest mark since he was a rookie in 2003) and had career-low yards per reception (8.4).
After his time clearly came to an end in Dallas, Witten could’ve gone the route many veterans do after spending so much time with a team and meaning so much for a franchise.
But understandably, Jason Witten, who believes the secret is in the dirt, decided to keep playing.
I’m sure many Cowboys fans will be secretly rooting for Witten when they watch Raiders’ games. But whatever happens, #82 will always be a Dallas Cowboy. Team legend Bob Lilly once told him that he, not Lilly himself, was the real “Mr. Cowboy” and I believe that to be true. Good luck, Jason.