'Boys' Witten to retire, take job in booth

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Romo had lost his job to Dak Prescott while injured and was deciding last offseason whether to play elsewhere.

Baby Witten will make his public debut in a week or two. The magnitude of ESPN's offer reportedly is something Witten "can't ignore".

But Witten played in an era when the Cowboys had more playoff disappointments than successes. "I was certain when I went through it that I wanted the blessing of Jerry and his family, an opportunity I have to stay around the game". Throughout his illustrious career, Witten has been the cornerstone for the production at the position that the team has heavily depended upon in the passing game. He spent two seasons walking under it.

Following his tenure with the Vols, Witten was selected in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. "My answer was always the same, the secret is in the dirt". I don't think you ever really - that's never something you're OK with. Witten also earned consensus first-team All-SEC recognition in 2002 after establishing a then single-season school-record for catches (39) and receiving yards (493) by a tight end.

Witten missed one game in his career because of that broken jaw.

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Having already established himself as one of the premier tight ends in the league, Witten had 96 receptions in 2007. His 15 seasons are tied for the most in Dallas with defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones, safety Bill Bates and late offensive lineman Mark Tuinei.

I get it, Witten was old and his better days were behind him, so why on earth did the Cowboys still need his services, all be it for one more season? During his senior year in 1999, he was an All-American and victor of the Charles Greenhill Award for the best player in the state of Tennessee.

When the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, I was certainly in favor of the move.

Without Witten and Bryant, the Cowboys are missing their top two receivers from a year ago and essentially for the past six seasons. Fifteen of those catches came against the Detroit Lions on December 9 and tied Kellen Winslow's record for most receptions by a tight end in a single game.

The Cowboys have assembled a group of unproven talent at the position James Hanna, Geoff Swaim, Rico Gathers and Blake Jarwin.