Jason Witten rides again.
Yes you heard right, Jason Witten has left the Monday Night Football booth and rejoined the Dallas Cowboys as TE1.
After spending a year at ESPN, Jason Witten returned to the Cowboys today signing a $5 million contract.
Witten in a statement said today,
“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong.”
“This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it. I’m looking forward to getting back in the dirt.”
Witten, 37, will certainly provide valuable experience to a talented Cowboys team that won its 2nd divisional title in the last 3 seasons.
Witten, who will play his 16th season with the Cowboys is 4th all-time in the NFL in receptions with 1,152 and is the franchise leader in games played, consecutive starts, starts, and overall games played.
Jerry Jones stated that he knew for about 10-14 days that Witten had been contemplating coming back to the Cowboys saying,
“As you know, when Jason retired last year, he had a real difficult decision. He obviously missed it. I’ve never seen anybody really embrace the physical part of football like Jason. He missed that. The rougher it is, the better.”
Jason Garrett, who enters into the final season of his contract as Cowboys Head Coach said,
“I don’t think it was an easy decision for him. It was such a great opportunity. … But in the long conversations we had before he made that decision, I knew he still loved to play football. There is no question in my mind he can still play at a high level.”
For the Cowboys, Witten’s role will still be determined as the off season progresses.
The Cowboys will still need to address and evaluate the position given flashes from Blake Jarwin late in the 2018 season.
For Dak Prescott, Witten offers a great safety blanket to move the chains when needed. Witten knows the offense, so his transition back to the team should be seamless.
Reports surfaced during the 2018 NFL season that the Cowboys had reached out to Witten to potentially rejoin the team.
Ultimately those reports were shot down by the Cowboys organization.
The pull and love of the game proved to be too much for Witten to ignore as sources say he missed the feeling of being a player rather than unhappiness with television.
Witten was widely criticized for his analysis work on Monday Night Football throughout his one and only season.
It appears the 11-time Pro-Bowler was ready to trade his microphone for his cleats once again.
Witten recently said at the Jason Witten Collegiate Man Of The Year presentation, presented to D’Cota Dixon of the University of Wisconsin,
“Look, every day I was a part of the Cowboys, and even before that, I loved the game of football. I loved the process of it. I loved March. I loved training camp. I loved getting better and adversity and going through it with [the] guys, that shared commitment part of it. Nothing can replace that feeling and I knew that.”
Looks like Witten won’t have to miss it any longer.
Welcome back Jason, welcome back.
Flip the page to see the return of Witten.