On May 3rd, Jason Witten announced his retirement from the National Football League. His decision comes after 15 years in the league. He’s moving on to the next chapter of his life, which is joining the commentary booth of Monday Night Football.
For many years, Witten has been an inspirational mentor for many players. Perhaps, it’s safe to say Witten was a strong beacon of enlightenment for the Cowboys. They’ll certainly never have another player quite like him again. Witten’s departure is a huge loss for the Cowboys’ locker room, front office and the fans, but all they can do about it is move on. Without a doubt, Witten, himself, would want the Cowboys to move on.
Dak Prescott describes Witten not only as a friend and teammate, but as a teacher and mentor, as well. “He showed me the way to be a professional,” he says. “He showed me the way to be a Cowboy, on and off the field.”
Dallas did draft Dalton Schultz, a tight end out of Stanford University in the fourth round of this year’s draft, but it’s too early to say he’s the team’s next superstar tight end. It’s unclear who Dallas’ next superstar tight end will be. It could be at least three years until Dallas finds Witten’s true successor.
Apart from Shultz, Dallas also has Geoff Swaim and Rico Gathers in the tight end race. However, Gathers is talented, but his health is a concern. Swaim’s experience is out there, but he hasn’t done much on the field. Swaim’s opportunity to learn and improve further has come, which could be the reason Dallas decided not to pursue a veteran tight end in free agency.
Swaim needs to take everything he’s learned from Witten and put it all into action. Still, it would be no surprise if Witten’s departure means more catches for Cole Beasley and Ezekiel Elliott.