Sports

Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten makes shock move

Dallas Cowboys legend Jason Witten makes shock move

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten officially announced his retirement from the National Football League on Thursday, during a teary-eyed press conference at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Jason Witten got a nice retirement gift from Jerry Jones.

Witten is tied with Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and the late Mark Tuinei for most seasons by a Dallas player.

"I've lived a dream here the last 15 years with this organization, great ownership, great coaches and great opportunity", Witten said during one of his emotional moments after a Week 16 loss to Seattle last December that eliminated the Cowboys. Witten also earned consensus first-team All-SEC recognition in 2002 after establishing a then single-season school-record for catches (39) and receiving yards (493) by a tight end.

What Witten did on the field was a dream individual career, especially at a position that tended to fly under the radar everywhere except places like New England or San Diego, and, of course, Dallas.

"The hardest part of this decision was knowing that I would never be able to hand you that Lombardi Trophy", Witten added. Witten, who will turn 36 on May 6, recently mentioned that he planned to play football until he was 40 years old but that won't be the case. He spent two seasons walking under it.

Joe Tessitore, a Boston College graduate, is expected to be the choice as his successor and auditioned several candidates, including Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, and superb current studio analyst Louis Riddick. They don't really begin to tell the story.

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It should be taken into consideration that the player who got the biggest vote of confidence is second year CB Marquez White.

Jerry Jones was aware of the possibility Witten could be done playing before Friday's report.

Among the tight ends left behind, only one has a catch in a regular-season game: Geoff Swaim with nine over three seasons.

He retires as the Cowboys all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards.

As an individual, Witten surpassed the level of excellence attained by the Cowboys tight ends that preceded him.

"After much self-reflection, prayer and faith, I have decided the time has come for me to pass the torch and retire", Witten said.