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Does Jason Witten Deserve To Be In The Hall Of Fame?

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Jason Witten

Jason Witten was amongst the best tight ends in the National Football League for 16 years with the Dallas Cowboys. Witten would play one season with the Oakland Raiders before eventually retiring from his playing career for the second time.

Drafted in 2003, Witten would take the bus to his first training camp with another rookie, undrafted free agent quarterback Tony Romo. Witten, who was a second round draft choice for the Cowboys that year, and Romo would be heading to Dallas to play for Bill Parcells and a rebuilding Dallas Cowboys.

Over the next 14 season, Jason Witten would have four seasons over 1,000 receiving yards, a feat that was rarely achieved by tight ends during this time in the league. Though he was never really considered the best tight end in football, he was almost always amongst the top five to ten.

Jason Witten Credit NBC

He would make 10 pro-bowls during that time, being named a First-Team All Pro once. By the time he left Oakland at the end of his career, Witten would climb all the way to fourth on the all-time catch list in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald, and the tight end that overshadowed him for a large part of his career, Tony Gonzalez.

Witten would miss just one game in his entire NFL career. He played in all 16 games in every single season except for his inaugural season, in which he missed one game while recovering from a broken jaw.

Though he never had playoff success, Witten was routinely lauded for his presence off of the field, where he was a team leader, as well as a leader in the community. He was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year during his career.

Witten’s First Retirement Damaged His Hall Of Fame Status

Witten’s first retirement came after the 2017 season. The Dallas Cowboy legend bid farewell to the field for the broadcasting booth. Unfortunately, Witten was notoriously awful at broadcasting, showing a simple lack of communication skills necessary to do the job successfully.

His blunders made the once universally respected legend a laughing stock to NFL fans around the world. Once known for his toughness and grit, Witten was being re-labeled as a fool.

Nothing could have been further from the truth, however, Jason Witten was losing in the public court of opinion.

Jason Witten: Credit ESPN

After just one season as the ESPN Monday Night Football lead commentator, Witten stepped away from broadcasting and signed back with the Dallas Cowboys.

Though he would never return to quite the same level of play, there was not a tremendous dropoff in Witten’s ability. He remained a steady target of quarterback Dak Prescott, who was more than elated to have his trusty tight end back in Dallas.

He would remain on the Cowboys until after the 2019 season, when the Cowboys opted to allow his contract to expire. Witten would depart for the Las Vegas Raiders, where he played one season before signing a one-day contract with Dallas to retire a Cowboy.

Second Times The Charm

This time, Witten wouldn’t embark on a broadcasting journey upon leaving the NFL. This time the veteran Cowboy would take up coaching, coaching his sons on a local Texas high school team, and leading that team to a state championship.

Witten has even been reportedly mentioned as a possibly hire for the Dallas Cowboys if they decide to move on from NFL head coach Mike McCarthy.

The once damaged Jason Witten has emerged from his second retirement as a changed man, and a man with real prospects of becoming an NFL coach sooner rather than later.

The ‘Bob Lily’ Of His Era

Jason Witten: Credit NBC

Witten, who could be described as the ‘Bob Lily’ of his era, was the Dallas Cowboys. He was a rare star that children, as well as adults, could look to for inspiration without the negatives that usually sorroudn the stardom of the NFL, and more specifically the Dallas Cowboys.

Tony Romo, deservedly, receives a ton of credit for keeping Dallas relevant despite poor management and roster-building during the early 2000s. He could not have done it without his safety blanket, Jason Witten.

Jason Witten DESERVES to be in the Hall of Fame, what do you say?

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