Cowboys' Jason Witten Retires to Join 'Monday Night Football'


Tight end Jason Witten, scoring a touchdown in 2014, played his entire career for the Dallas Cowboys, from 2003 to 2017.

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jason Witten ended his N.F.L. playing career after more games as a Dallas Cowboy than any other player. He will be joining “Monday Night Football” as an analyst.

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon attended by many teammates, an emotional Witten said: “I can only hope that the men and women in these hallways will say I was a decent man, tried to do things the right way and was dependable.”

“I was never the most talented, never the flashiest,” he said. “I relied on grit.”

Of his decision to retire he said, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

A third-round pick out of Tennessee, Witten, 35, was an ironman at tight end, playing 15 games in his rookie season and 16 every season thereafter. He had 11 Pro Bowl selections, including last season. He caught 1,152 passes for more than 12,000 yards, both Cowboys records. He ranks fourth in the N.F.L. in catches behind Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez and Larry Fitzgerald.

He was also known as a strong run blocker. Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett once called him “the most dedicated footballer I’ve ever been around.”

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