While perhaps not greatly, reports that the NFL career of Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has ended, may have indeed been exaggerated.
According to a report from Chris Mortensen, who broke the story that Witten had a deal to join the broadcast crew on Monday Night Football, another television network has offered Witten a deal.
In addition to this, the Cowboys remain determined to keep Witten in uniform for the 2018 season. A goal which has only grown in importance after the Cowboys failed to land South Dakota State’s Dallas Goedert during the draft this past weekend.
According to Pro Football Talk, “Witten, who will turn 36 next week, started all 16 games last year but saw his production decline: His 63 catches, 560 yards and 8.9 yards per catch average were all his lowest since becoming the Cowboys’ starting tight end in 2004.”
However, despite his declining numbers, the Cowboys could be looking at a huge leadership void in the locker-room if Witten elects to retire. In the past two seasons, the Cowboys have lost Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. While some would certainly, and justifiably, make the case that Bryant was more of a distraction than a leader. He was still an emotional, veteran presence on the team.
Prescott has shown maturity beyond his years, however, he’s at a critical stage of his development as a quarterback, and as a leader. Zeke Elliott, while possessing all the skill and talent one could hope for, has certainly not proven himself to be a dependable locker-room leader.
For these reasons, and others, the Cowboys will likely make Witten quite an offer to stay.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn