Cowboys' open letter to Witten pinpoints his impact on organization

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Along the way, he posted 18 catches against the New York Giants, the most by a tight in a single game. Well, at least until their two Monday Night Football games in the 2018 season.

The Dallas Cowboys lost one of their most accomplished players in history when Jason Witten announced his retirement on Thursday. Three of the four major networks will see their top broadcast booths filled with former Cowboys - Romo at CBS, Witten at ESPN, Troy Aikman at Fox - so for those of you that may have grown exhausted of "America's Team" over the years, you have our sympathies.

For Giants fans, this day was long anticipated on the calendar.

He has the second-most receptions by a tight end in National Football League history and fourth-most overall.

The 2003 season was a tough one for the Giants. All three of those tight ends will be limited pass catchers but will excel in blocking for a top five rushing offense next year.

Parcells was one of the earliest believers in Witten, praising the then-rookie for his toughness. No one in the history of the Cowboys was more available on Sundays than Witten, who left as the Cowboys all-time leader in seasons, games played, consecutive games played, games started and consecutive starts.

More so than being a future Hall of Fame tight end, Witten's presence in the Dallas community earned him the Walter Payton Man of the Year award back in 2012. To add insult to injury, the Cowboys clinched their first playoff berth since 1999 with the victory.

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Witten is third on the Cowboys' list with 68 touchdown catches.

Here, we see the Dallas skyline lit up as a way to honor Witten.

On Dec, 7, 2015, Witten recorded his 1,000th catch against the Washington Redskins, becoming only the second tight end to accomplish that feat.

Kellen Winslow had held the record since 1984, though Witten tied him during a 2007 win over Detroit.

The circumstances for Witten and Romo were different.

The decision by the franchise leader in games, catches and yards receiving is the same one friend and longtime teammate Tony Romo, the club passing leader in yards and touchdowns, made a year ago with CBS.