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Jason Witten: I just didn’t catch the ball

Dallas Cowboys tight end Witten is unable to make the catch after bobbling the football during the fourth quarter of their NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, Washington Reuters

Tight end Jason Witten burnished his tough guy credentials when he played in the season opener despite being barely recovered from a lacerated spleen and he did it again on Sunday, although in less happy fashion.

Witten had three drops as part of the total system failure experienced by the Cowboys in Seattle’s 27-7 win on Sunday. Witten isn’t in the habit of dropping passes, as evidenced by the fact that he became the third tight end in history with 700 catches on Sunday. That led to questions about whether the spleen injury or a couple of hits he took from Seahawks defenders contributed to the uncharacteristic performance. Witten didn’t bite.

“I just didn’t catch the ball,” Witten said, via Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com. “Opportunities were there, just didn’t do it. That had nothing to do with it.”

It was a bad day all around for the Dallas offense, but Witten isn’t someone that’s likely to be a chronic problem for them going forward. He has not been easily pushed around over the course of his career, something that can’t be said many of his teammates in Seattle on Sunday.

When the Cowboys beat the Giants, they were able to remain tough physically and mentally throughout the game. Sunday’s loss saw them come up short on both counts.

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32 Responses to “Jason Witten: I just didn’t catch the ball”
  1. go9ers says: Sep 17, 2012 12:18 PM

    Welcome back to the Romo-coaster and another 8-8 season.

  2. voiceofreasonsays says: Sep 17, 2012 12:19 PM

    Chris Cooley was always better when they were both at the peak of there career.

  3. ppc50 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:21 PM

    Didn’t catch the ball a couple of times, but when he did, mostly on his long reception, he continued to run out of bounds and fall down easy. Witten is a very good TE and a tough guy for playing last week vs. the NYG, but he continues to run out of bounds and looks behind him, sometimes, when he is in open field. Same stuff happened vs. the Jets last year, actually all their opponents.

  4. trollhammer20 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:35 PM

    He took a big shot early, to the midsection, even, and I’m sure it affected his play the rest of the game. But no NFL receiver will ever admit that if they want to have the respect of their locker room.

    Very good job by Seattle’s secondary of hitting people hard, but within the new guidelines. The only questionable hit came from a WR of all people, laying a block on a LB.

  5. zack2482 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:35 PM

    I take Romo over your bus driver. Can only imagine what Romo would do behind that oline that Smith has.

  6. juliusanonymous says: Sep 17, 2012 12:43 PM

    Yeah, sure.

    I was at the game, watched every down and saw him when the cameras weren’t focused on him. The Seahawk safeties and CBs were hitting him hard all day long, even when the ball wasn’t coming his way. They were in his head the whole second half. Witten was so nervous he was giving up on his routes across the middle, he’d just stop running and stand there, and he was looking for the hit on every play. He was playing well the first half, but those hits caught up with him, you could see it. He went from making some really tough catches to dropping easy passes because he was trying to protect himself.

    And as a Seahawk fan, I’m tired of reading every story from the media saying how Dallas “lost” the game. Seattle beat them in every aspect, from start to finish, in a dominating game that showed the NFL this team ain’t a pushover. Green Bay better not sleep on this team, especially at home. How is that not news-worthy? Wilson looked good out there, and our defense was stout. The media should be talking about how the NFC West is suddenly filled with dominant, physical defense and playing very well – this isn’t the old NFC West.

  7. richndc says: Sep 17, 2012 12:45 PM

    It was overall, a performance lacking heart on the part of the Cowboys. My faith in Rob Ryan’s D-play calling slips more and more. We have the players, but that touchdown to the tight end was silly, I could have called that D better. signed very frustrated lifelong Cowboys fan.

  8. whyamiacowboysfanagain says: Sep 17, 2012 12:55 PM

    I have to think back to remember a game where Dallas was DOMINATED like that. As a cowboys fan, I can’t really complain about anything. No calls, no dropped passes or bad throws, etc… The bottom line to me is, the Seattle won the BATTLE OF THE TRENCHES and I can guarantee you that, to a man, Seattle would have LOVED to continue playing while Dallas didn’t. That’s usually how you tell who actually “won” the game. In alot of games (see Balt vs. Philly), the team that won the physicality aspect doesn’t always win. This was NOT one of those games.

  9. thebadguyswon says: Sep 17, 2012 12:56 PM

    Exactly. Stop being sheep folks and believing the standard Romo narrative. The reality is Tony Romo is an excellent quarterback. Not one of the top 5 in the league, but he’s a top 10 QB easily.

    They just got stomped yesterday by a solid team.

  10. stonecold2112 says: Sep 17, 2012 12:57 PM

    Dallas will deep into the playoffs!!! It’s not Romo’s fault!! He’s in the top 5 of qb’s in the league. They are a very good team. Dallas is going to surprise a lot of people this season!

  11. tharoostah says: Sep 17, 2012 1:06 PM

    They had a talented backup for this guy with upside who just never really panned out. Has anyone seen him? All he needed was some structure and little coaching. Oh well Jerrah can waste a number one pick on the next Jason Witten. Meanwhile Eli and the Giants will get 900 yds and 9 tds out of whoever they put in there. Shockey, Boss, Ballard,… Bennett -oh yeah thats where he went

  12. tigrrrr says: Sep 17, 2012 1:07 PM

    Lol…good romo/bad romo …. Again!

  13. wcdunkenfield says: Sep 17, 2012 1:10 PM

    I’d be more than willing to give Witten the benefit of the doubt, due to his injury.

    But otherwise, they are who we thought they were…

  14. stonecold2112 says: Sep 17, 2012 1:17 PM

    Bennett has one good game with the giants whoopee! He had one good game with the cowboys also! He will not be not be a 900yd 9td end.

  15. mazblast says: Sep 17, 2012 1:19 PM

    Will someone tell me what drugs Cowboy fans take? They must be amazing, to produce the hallucinations that they have, such as the excellence of Romo, the domination of their defense, the All-Pro status of every player on the roster, the impossibility of anyone being BETTER than them…

  16. mazblast says: Sep 17, 2012 1:20 PM

    P.S. Witten is a genuinely excellent TE who had a really bad day Sunday. I don’t think he’s near 100% physically.

  17. jsnrobles1 says: Sep 17, 2012 1:24 PM

    Ok Jerry enough already with Felix Jones. I’ve had it with this guy. This guy has done absolutely nothing worth being a first round pick. Lance Dunbar should be in that spot . Tony you have other receivers not just Witten so stop forcing it to him. I was so disgusted watching these guys play yesterday. Seattles team is up and coming. That Wilson kid is really gonna be great for them. I would hate to have a playoff game at their house.

  18. thefiesty1 says: Sep 17, 2012 1:36 PM

    Typical CowBabies game. Win a game they are supposed to lose and lose a game they are supposed to win. You just never know when they are going to show up.

  19. barbeaux says: Sep 17, 2012 1:40 PM

    Dallas always plays down to their opponent.

  20. hawkfan50 says: Sep 17, 2012 1:55 PM

    I was at the game and have to agree with juliusanonymous ; most of the Cowboys were playing scared by the 2nd half . Having said that , I can’t help but think the injury had an effect on Witten’s drops ; the man is one of the best TE’s in the league and I’m sure once he gets healthy again he’ll be fine .

  21. purpleguy says: Sep 17, 2012 1:58 PM

    This is seriously not an intentional troll-like comment, but the frustration of being a Cowboy fan with the high expectations (often unrealistic), followed by the teams’ failure to live up to them, must get pretty dang tiring after a while.

  22. rodell77 says: Sep 17, 2012 2:18 PM

    that was a good beatdown in the second half. the cowboys gave them a start in the first half. they didn’t make plays to keep their drives alive and seattle did…..end of story.

  23. SparkyGump says: Sep 17, 2012 2:27 PM

    Dez isn’t earning his paycheck. Why not try Plax?

  24. EJ says: Sep 17, 2012 2:51 PM

    The Seahawks are a solid team this year. Its no surprise that they beat on the Cowboys. Yes, they have a few average players at certain important positions, but for the most part they are pretty stacked. The NFC should be paying attention to the Hawks, I think Pete Carroll has something special this year.

  25. vikingforever says: Sep 17, 2012 3:18 PM

    As the old saying goes……..’on any given Sunday’

  26. markdamack says: Sep 17, 2012 3:22 PM

    Well, where do we start…

    For the Giants fans talking up Bennett…didn’t he trop like 2 passes in the endzone yesterday?

    Also, I always here “Oh the Cowboys fans think their whole team is amazing and they are the best blah blah blah”…where? Who says these things? I don’t see them. I don’t hear them. I don’t say them.

    Seahawks fans, good game. Great game. However, some of you need to get off the Napolean complex with the “I’m tired of them saying the Cowboys lost, we won!!” We know you won. You played great. Nobodys doubting you.

    And the Romo hate is so cliche’, it’s insane. It’s quite obvious the people who says these things do NOT watch the games.

  27. kevinfromphilly says: Sep 17, 2012 3:44 PM

    The Seahawks have always been a tough team to beat at home.

  28. cowpiesnotcowboys says: Sep 17, 2012 4:17 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Sep 17, 2012 1:58 PM
    This is seriously not an intentional troll-like comment, but the frustration of being a Cowboy fan with the high expectations (often unrealistic), followed by the teams’ failure to live up to them, must get pretty dang tiring after a while.

    ————————————————-

    I agree. The Cowboys have been a perfectly mediocre 120-120 over the prior 15 years, with only one season more than 2 games away from .500 [in 2007, they were 13-3]. Yet each year there are high expectations for them, often without any particular rationale. At what point to we recognize them for what their record says they are?

  29. go9ers says: Sep 17, 2012 4:32 PM

    cowpiesnotcowboys says:
    Sep 17, 2012 4:17 PM
    The Cowboys have been a perfectly mediocre 120-120 over the prior 15 years, with only one season more than 2 games away from .500 [in 2007, they were 13-3]. Yet each year there are high expectations for them, often without any particular rationale. At what point to we recognize them for what their record says they are?

    ————————————————–

    You are wrong about the records (there were also an 11-5 season and three 5-11 seasons in that stretch) but your point is still valid. Are the Cowboys regularly underperforming or are the high expectations simply undeserved?

  30. zeppie1138 says: Sep 17, 2012 4:45 PM

    Yes, Seattle beat the crap out of Dallas yesterday; but what people don’t realize is that most every team that faces the Cowboys get so pumped up like if it was a playoff game or the Super Bowl, just because of the “America’s Team” BS or the high profile nature of the Cowboys. Seattle was so fired up and wanted that game more that Dallas did and it showed. Seattle may win their next game, but I guarantee you they will not have half of the intensity they showed yesterday. As a Cowboys fan, I see this dynamic week in and week out. Sometimes Dallas can overcome this, and sometimes they cant. But they should have known better and I put the blame on the coaching staff. Hell, even I know that historically we never matched up well against Seattle even when they were in the AFC (add Detroit & Minnesota to that list too).

  31. bluebongzilla says: Sep 17, 2012 4:51 PM

    “Dez isn’t earning his paycheck. Why not try Plax?”

    Because Plax is a real criminal and he’s on the wrong side of 35.

  32. bluebongzilla says: Sep 17, 2012 4:55 PM

    Only one Giants TE had 900 yard receiving in one season since the merger (Bavaro), and only one scored 9 TD’s (Aaron Thomas). I just don’t see MartyB doing it.

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