It’s going to take some time before the black and silver No. 82 looks right on Jason Witten. Or maybe it never will.
Witten, 38, played 16 seasons with the Cowboys, leaving his mark on the team record book.
He retired after the 2017 season to go into the broadcast booth and unretired to play a final season for the Cowboys in 2019. Now, he’s in Las Vegas, starting over.
“Yeah, I mean there was talks of that,” Witten said of a return to the Cowboys during a videoconference Monday. “I mean, I think anytime you have a coaching changes and a new program being built, that’s part of this business. Obviously, I had a great relationship over 16, 17 years there with the Jones family. Very honest and very upfront. Of course, with Mike [McCarthy], look, that’s a talented team. But this was a unique opportunity for me as well to come here. I’m invigorated by this challenge, where I am in my career. It made a lot of sense from the fit and the role and the presence that I could have. I didn’t really overthink it. Just a great opportunity to go in there and compete. I’m very fortunate for that. I’ll challenge myself to play at a high level, even where my age is. It’s been a lot of fun for me.”
Witten made 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns last season, and the Cowboys chose to sign Blake Jarwin to a long-term deal and let Witten leave.
Witten started all 16 games last season and played 845 snaps, which was 75 percent of the team’s offensive plays. It seems likely he will play less than that this season behind Darren Waller, who made 90 catches for 1,145 yards and three touchdowns in 2019.