The Cowboys still don’t have a final decision on Jason Witten, and Jerry Jones said the tight end can have all the time he needs. Having said that, the Cowboys owner added that Witten asked for the weekend to finalize his plans.
So Witten likely will inform the team of his decision early next week. Barring a last-minute change of heart, it’s expected the 15-year veteran will retire.
“As I saw Troy [Aikman] say, that’s his decision, and he’s got the time to make it,” Jones said. “He deserves the time to make that. I don’t have a timeline on it. I do know that when we left [Friday], he certainly thought he wanted the weekend to come to some conclusion.”
The Cowboys made a move to try to replace Witten. They continue to insist they are happy with the other tight ends on the roster, but Rico Gathers, Geoff Swaim and Blake Jarwin have only nine catches for 94 yards and no touchdowns in 29 career games.
Witten made 1,152 catches for 12,448 yards and 68 touchdowns in his career.
So the Cowboys used a fourth-round pick on Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz on Saturday.
“I want to emphasize again how we like our tight ends that we’ve got on the roster that would be on the roster if we don’t have Witten, but certainly Dalton was noted as what we thought was the best blocker of the tight ends,” Jones said. “That was impactful because that’s the area that probably would prevent a tight end from getting as much play time as rookie while he learns the ropes. What was important was that they didn’t throw it as much to him, but you had a lot of evidence that showed him having real good hands. Smart as hell. You need that tight end position. One of the things that had made Jason Witten what he is is how smart he is. Boy, they’ve got a lot of things that you’d like to ask them to do if they can handle it all. This guy’s got that, so he was a player that certainly when you have to think about Jason not being here, then you’ve got to say that that enhanced his appeal. On the other hand, we didn’t put any air in him at all from where we were when we were talking about him before, and we still don’t know Jason’s decision.”