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TE Jason Witten Signs 4-Year Extension With Cowboys

RJ Ochoa

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Jason Witten

Jason Witten, "Gold Jacket Witt" as Ezekiel Elliott nicknamed him in 2016, will indeed be getting a gold jacket someday in Canton, OH at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We're talking about a tight end who is the all-time leader in receptions (1,089), soon to be yards (he needs 17 more to pass Michael Irvin), and soon to be games played (he needs 2 more to pass Ed "Too Tall" Jones) in franchise history. Did I mention that we're talking about a tight end here?! Jason Witten, in all his glory, has officially signed a four-year extension with the Dallas Cowboys.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has signed a four-year extension through 2021, according to league... https://t.co/S0pb1zwjLP

Drafted in the 3rd Round (69th Overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Tennessee, Jason Witten has been making a name for himself while wearing a Dallas Cowboys uniform since the beginning. He's seen and been through all of the changes at both head coach and quarterback, seeing his fate end as far as the Divisional Round as many as three times (2007, 2014, and 2016).

The Cowboys enter the 2017 NFL Draft seemingly in need of an "heir apparent" to Jason Witten. Last year's 6th Round selection Rico Gathers thinks that he may be up to that task, but Jason Witten signing a contract extension indicates that he's not as near retirement as we all thought when last season ended.

Jason Witten

Jason Witten can still make plays. On October 30th, 2016 against the Philadelphia Eagles he caught the game-winner from QB Dak Prescott to keep the Cowboys momentum moving.

Of course the Cowboys will still likely address the position of tight end in the draft as behind Witten they have Gathers, James Hanna coming off of injury, and Geoff Swaim (who was recently injured and will be out until Training Camp). Whatever the case it surely is some peace of mind for Dallas that Jason Witten plans on sticking around for a little bit longer.

Todd Archer on Twitter

Witten's cap number in 2017 remains the same. No added guaranteed money in deal. Cowboys can restructure later to gain space.

The extension that Jason Witten just signed with the Cowboys seems like a move purely intentioned to allow him to finish his career with the Cowboys as opposed to one made to gain cap space. Witten's cap number for 2017 is $12.2M (courtesy of OverTheCap.com) and his new extension does nothing to change that. Of course, the Cowboys can restructure and "kick the can down the road" with money as we've seen them do this season with Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, but for now they'd be wise to sit.

Considering the what-looks-like-a-tumultuous end to the Tony Romo era in Dallas, the Cowboys are likely doing everything possible to ensure that Jason Witten's exit from America's Team is far more graceful. Maybe at some point it'll also benefit them financially, but today all it's about is keeping Jason Witten around the Dallas Cowboys longer. That's something we can all get on board with.

Tell us what you think about "TE Jason Witten Signs 4-Year Extension With Cowboys" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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2 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    Why not set it up for 30 years with $300 million signing bonus… ;^)

    Hopefully this is not one of those deals like Romo got, that wrecks your cap after he’s off the team.

    Positives: Very durable producer who never relied on speed

    Negatives: Everybody reaches the year where they don’t have it anymore

    Gathers is the kind of low-cost / high-upside project that the Cowboys need all over the team this year in camp – DL, Secondary, OL, return guys who might pressure Whitehead, etc

  • John Williams

    Maybe this is a sign that the Dallas Cowboys believe that Rico Gathers has what it takes to be the heir at TE. Witten won’t be around forever, but this extension gives them time to continue to develop Rico and see what they have with him.

    Likely he’ll compete for a roster spot this year with Hanna and Swaim, and then begin competing for snaps during the season. I would bet as the season progresses that we’ll see him more and more.

    There’s too much upside with Rico if he can figure out the blocking and nuanced route running side of the game.

    Thankfully, we don’t need him to be an underneath security blanket at the moment, we have Cole Beasley and Ezekiel Elliott for that.

    Once Gathers gets into games, he can be that TE that goes up the seem or challenges the Cover Two with corner and post routes.

Player News

Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense

John Williams

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Maliek Collins

For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.

Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.

He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.

During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.

Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.

With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.

Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.



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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!



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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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