Tony Romo reminded Jason Witten to keep team first, friendship second last season

AP

Jason Witten entered the league with Tony Romo in 2003. They quickly bonded, and the tight end ended up catching 649 passes for 7,287 yards and 37 touchdowns from one of his best friends.

When Romo lost his job to Dak Prescott last season, the quarterback reminded Witten the team came first.

Tony was the first one to say it to me: ‘Don’t allow my situation to get in the way of what was happening to this football team,’ ” Witten said, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Witten, 35, saw Romo, Doug Free and former teammate DeMarcus Ware retire in the offseason. Witten enters his 15th season as the old man and the star. Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur has 12 years experience.

“As the off-season unfolded and [Romo] made the decision to join CBS, there is a day or two where you think, ‘Wow, look how quickly this has gone,’” Witten said. “I always think there is an appreciation of the guys you are able to do it with, and they are going on to new chapters in their life.”

Witten has put off retirement talk all offseason. He’s too excited about what the present holds.

“I don’t look at it in an adversarial way of that group versus this group and ‘Man, I miss those guys,’ ” Witten said. “It’s an appreciation to have the opportunity.”