Cowboys plan to use Jason Witten wisely

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Jason Witten doesn’t like to leave the field. Ever. Not at practice. Not at a walk-through. Not during a game.

So how in the world are the Cowboys going to hold him to a pitch count this season?

The tight end averaged 65.5 snaps per game in 2017 when he played 98.4 percent of the team’s offensive plays. But Witten turns 37 in May, has missed a year and the Cowboys have young tight ends they want to continue to develop.

Thus, the Cowboys and Witten agreed he will play somewhere around 25 snaps a game.

“Well, Witt’s just been a great football player for us,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s been an incredibly productive player for us throughout his career — one of the most productive tight ends in the history of the National Football League. He’s a complete tight end; he can play every down; he can really do everything you want a tight end to do. He can play on the ball; he can play off the ball. We’ve used him where he’s coming out of the backfield as a blocker, as a receiver. We’ve used him in the slot. We’ve used him outside. All of those things he’s been able to do throughout his career. I think, to answer your question, I think over the last couple years, as you get into Year 14, 15, I think he recognizes the importance of being able to take a practice off in training camp, and I think the same thing applies to how we would use him in a game right now. His greatest strength is his competitiveness, his desire, his drive to be a great football player and have a positive impact on our team. He’ll go to all ends of the Earth to be able to do that. That’s why he’s a Hall of Fame player. You never want to take that away from him. Having said that, we have a couple of young tight ends who emerged last year and started playing better and better as the year went on. We feel like those guys will have a role for us. All of that stuff will be fleshed out as we get going, but suffice it to say we’re really excited he’s back. We’re excited about the development of those young guys and how that tight end group is going to be.”

Witten could play a role similar to that of Antonio Gates with the Chargers. Gates, 38, averaged 22.8 snaps per game in playing 36.6 percent of the plays last season.

16 responses to “Cowboys plan to use Jason Witten wisely

  1. Wow season over all ready, eagles really screwed them when they jumped ahead of them and took Dallas Godard

  2. It’s sad when former star players try and come back and recapture that old glory. Wish him well but this could turn out badly. One of the best TEs ever shouldnt come back as a blocking TE.

  3. Use Witten wisely…don’t let him commentate and keep him on the sideline.

  4. “Cowboys plan to use Jason Witten wisely” ie Nowhere Near the Broadcast Booth

  5. Just roster and cap eaters, but nonetheless crowd pleasers for teams not winning any silverware.

  6. At best he’s Antonio Gates from last year. Similar situation. A TE that knows the system and the QB loves but is over the hill.

  7. If Witten embraces the roll of player/coach, and Jarwin and Schultz pay attention to the way Witten prepares for and studies the game, this will be a win for the Cowboys.

  8. lets just not assume anything just yet, wouldn’t surprise one bit if he doesn’t make it through camp, either as a cut or re-retire after thinking things through differently

  9. I am completely on board with Witten’s swan song season. He still put up respectable numbers his last season of play and he can still be productive at 25 snaps a game, and still allow the development of Jarwin and Schultz. If he has 3 receptions for 40 yards a game and helps move the chains on 3rd downs then it’s a good signing. I think this will be his springboard into coaching which I believe will happen in 2020 with the Cowboys. And on the subject of TE’s some so-called experts continue to call this a position of high need for Dallas, completely discounting the fact that Jarwin or Schultz could possibly be the TE of the future. I’m sure they will add a TE in the draft but pick 58 or 90 would be a waste of draft capital. There are other positions with much greater need, such as DT or S. Of course, the way they draft this season will show hey the staff feels about the growth of Jarwin and Schultz.

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