Christopher Jason Witten (born May 8, 1982) is an American football tight end for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League (NFL) and sports broadcaster. He played college football for the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft. His 40-yard dash time is a 4.7. Witten ranks second in all-time career receptions and receiving yards by an NFL tight end, trailing only Tony Gonzalez. Initially retiring in 2018, he became a color analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football. Witten announced in February 2019 that he would end his retirement and play for the Cowboys in 2019.
Witten with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017
|No. 82 – Dallas Cowboys|
|Born:||May 6, 1982|
|Height:||6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)|
|Weight:||265 lb (120 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2003 / Round: 3 / Pick: 69|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Witten has two older brothers, Ryan and Shawn, and was raised in Washington D.C., but attended Elizabethton High School in Elizabethton, Tennessee. Witten's father, a 6'8", 300 lb. mailman, became addicted to alcohol and drugs when Witten was 6 and became abusive toward Witten's mother, Kim, and Witten's older brothers. When Witten was 11, he moved to Elizabethton to live with his grandparents. His grandfather, Dave Rider, was the coach of the football team where Witten was a two-way player, playing linebacker and tight end.
Witten became a three-year starter playing both linebacker and tight end, while helping his team reach the state semi-finals three times. As a senior linebacker, he finished the season with 163 tackles (registering a career school record 450), nine sacks, two interceptions, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and two blocked kicks. That year, he received several accolades: All-American, All-State (also as a junior), USA Today Player of the Year for Tennessee, East Tennessee Player of the Year, Region Defensive Player of the Year and runner-up for the Mr. Football award. He had 26 receptions and 14 touchdowns on offense. He also played basketball, where he averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per-game.
Witten accepted a scholarship to the University of Tennessee, with the promise from then-head coach Phillip Fulmer that he would be played at defensive end. Witten began his first year playing special teams and also saw time as a second-string defensive end.
After injuries impacted the depth at the tight end position, he was moved to the offensive side midway through the season. Although Witten did not agree with the change and even considered transfering, he eventually came around and was used primarily as a blocker while he learned the position. He also started in his first 2 games. As a freshman, he recorded one reception on the season, which went for 11 yards in a 70–3 victory over Louisiana–Monroe.
He started three games as a sophomore, registering 28 receptions for 293 yards and two touchdowns. He scored his first collegiate touchdown in a 35–24 victory over Alabama. As a junior, he had a breakout year, setting school records for a tight end in receptions (39) and receiving yards (493) with five touchdowns, including one of the most memorable receptions in school history, a game-winning touchdown in the sixth overtime against the University of Arkansas. He received All-SEC (SEC) and Academic All-SEC honors after leading the conference's tight ends in receptions and receiving yards.
Even though he decided to enter the NFL Draft after his junior season and had played the position in only 20 games, Witten left ranked third all-time among the school's tight ends with 68 career receptions and fourth all-time with 797 receiving yards.
|Ht||Wt||Arm length||Hand size||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|6 ft 5 3⁄4 in
|32 1⁄2 in
|9 7⁄8 in
|4.65 s||31 in
|9 ft 2 in
|All values from NFL Combine|
Witten was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (69th overall) of the 2003 NFL Draft. Although the Cowboys had a first-round grade on him, when their turn came in the first and second rounds, they selected cornerback Terrence Newman and Al Johnson based on team needs. Undrafted free agent Tony Romo was another rookie who also arrived in Dallas in 2003 and would go on to become Witten's teammate throughout their careers, as well as his roommate during future team training camps and travel games.
Entering the league as a 20-year-old rookie, Witten started only seven of the 15 games he played in. On September 7, he made his NFL debut in a 27–13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, where he had one reception for 13 yards. Overall, he registered 35 receptions for 347 receiving yards and one touchdown. He broke his jaw against the Arizona Cardinals, after being hit by Ronald McKinnon and Ray Thompson, which required surgery to have three plates inserted to help the healing. He only missed one game (the lone game he has missed during his NFL career) and continued to play through the injury. Then-head coach Bill Parcells complimented Witten on his toughness. Witten was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team for the 2003 season.
In 2004, Witten had a breakout season leading the NFC with 87 catches, which was also the 11th most in NFL history by a tight end and a Cowboys team record for the position. On November 15, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he had nine receptions for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He was selected to his first Pro Bowl, becoming a part of the Cowboys franchise's legacy of great tight ends that includes Jim Doran, Lee Folkins, Pettis Norman, Mike Ditka, Billy Joe DuPree, Franklin Clarke, Doug Cosbie and Jay Novacek.
Witten finished sixth in the NFL among tight ends with 66 receptions and became the first Cowboys tight end to have at least 65 receptions in consecutive seasons. He had 757 receiving yards and six touchdown receptions in 2005. As a result of his successful season, he was named to his second Pro Bowl.
At the end of the 2006 NFL season, Witten became just the tenth tight end in NFL history to post three consecutive seasons with at least 60 receptions. He registered 64 receptions for 754 yards (11.8-yard avg.) and one touchdown, while being named to his third Pro Bowl.
On July 22, Witten signed a six-year, $29 million contract extension through 2012. The deal contained $12 million guaranteed, including a $6 million signing bonus and a $6 million option bonus in the second year.
Witten had a career year in 2007, breaking his own single-season Cowboys tight end record for receptions with 96 and becoming the first franchise tight end to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season. He became the third tight end in NFL history with 96 or more catches. On December 9 against the Detroit Lions, Witten's 15 receptions tied an NFL record held by Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr., for most receptions in a game by a tight end in NFL history. In the 14th game of the year, Witten became the first Dallas tight end ever to gain over 1,000 receiving yards in a season. Witten was also one of the NFL-record 13 Cowboys players selected to the Pro Bowl. Additionally, he made the 2007 All-Pro team along with teammates Terrell Owens and DeMarcus Ware. In the Week 9 game on November 4, while playing at Philadelphia, he made a 53-yard reception after losing his helmet. He was named as a First Team All-Pro for the 2007 season.
Witten made his 400th career reception in the Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game against the Seattle Seahawks on November 27, 2008. On December 28, against the Philadelphia Eagles, he completed a 42-yard pass for the first and only pass of his NFL career. Witten posted 81 receptions, which ranked 13th in the NFL for 2008, 952 yards, 4 touchdowns, and was named a starter for the 2008 Pro Bowl.
Witten banged his head on the turf after making a catch in a Week 2 loss against the Chicago Bears. He was forced to miss the rest of the game with a concussion. Before the injury, he had five receptions for 51 yards in the game.
In a Week 15 game against the Washington Redskins, Witten became the fastest tight end to make 600 receptions (125 games). He accomplished this with a 10-catch, 140-yard, one-touchdown day at home. He received his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl selection when he was named as the starting tight end for the NFC.
Overall, Witten hauled in 94 receptions for 1,002 yards and nine touchdowns for the 2010 season. He was named as a First Team All-Pro for the second time in his career. He was ranked No. 36 by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2011.
On November 13, 2011, Witten surpassed Ozzie Newsome to become the tight end with the third most receptions in NFL history with 663. Witten finished the season with 79 receptions for 942 receiving yards and five touchdowns playing in all 16 games. He was also ranked No. 75 by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2012.
On August 13, 2012, Witten suffered a lacerated spleen in the preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders and missed the rest of the preseason. There was talk that the seriousness of the injury could keep him out of action for a considerable time.
On September 5, Witten battled back and was able to play in the season opener, catching two passes for 10 yards in a victory over the New York Giants. Witten's availability for the game was in question due to the spleen injury he suffered during the preseason, but he was active for the game after being medically cleared to play.
On September 16, against the Seattle Seahawks, Witten caught four passes for 58 yards. He finished the game with 702 career receptions to become just the second player in franchise history to reach 700+ catches (Michael Irvin has 750) and the third tight end in NFL history to do so (Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe are the other two). Witten became the fastest tight end to reach 700 catches, reaching the milestone in 145 games, Gonzalez took 154 games and Sharpe took 178 games. Witten also became the youngest wide receiver/tight end to reach 700+ catches with 30 years, 133 days. This record was later broken in Week 3 by Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who totaled 707 career catches with 29 years, 23 days. His 58-yard performance gave him 7,977 receiving yards for his career passing former Cowboy Jackie Smith for fourth all-time in receiving yards among tight ends.
After Week 3, Witten passed Ozzie Newsome for third place all-time in receiving yards among tight ends. In week 8, Witten caught a career-high 18 passes for a career-high 167 yards. This is also a record for receptions by a tight end; the previous record of 15 receptions was set by Kellen Winslow in 1984.
On December 23, against the New Orleans Saints, Witten set the NFL single-season record for receptions by a tight end (103), breaking the previous record of 102 receptions, which had been set by Tony Gonzalez in 2004. He extended the record to 110 in the season finale.
On December 26, Witten was selected to his eighth Pro Bowl. For the second time in his career, Witten was nominated for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, this time winning the award and the $25,000 donation to his charity. Overall, he finished the 2012 season with 110 receptions for 1,039 yards and three touchdowns. He was ranked No. 41 among his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2013.
On September 15, Witten surpassed Shannon Sharpe with the second most receptions as a tight end in NFL history. His three catches during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs brought his career total to 817. In the season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles, he had 12 receptions for 135 yards. He finished the 2013 season with 73 receptions for 851 yards and eight touchdowns. He was named to the Pro Bowl for the ninth time in his career. He was ranked 98th by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2014.
Witten became the all-time leader for consecutive starts by a tight end after he started against the Seattle Seahawks on October 12. In that same game, he also became the second tight end in NFL history to reach 900 receptions.
Witten had 27 yards against the Giants to move his career receiving yards to 10,065 to pass Shannon Sharpe (10,060) for the second-most receiving yards by an NFL tight end.
That season, the Cowboys emphasized the running game and although his receiving production declined, his blocking was noticed while helping Demarco Murray lead the NFL in rushing. Witten finished with 60 receptions for 654 yards and five touchdowns. He was named to his tenth career Pro Bowl for his 2014 season. He was ranked 93rd by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015.
On September 20, in the first game against the Philadelphia Eagles, he suffered a right knee injury and two sprained ankles but was able to only miss a play and a half.
On November 22, against the Miami Dolphins he became the franchise's iron man, playing his 196th consecutive game and surpassing Bob Lilly. On December 27, against the Buffalo Bills, he set the Cowboys record with his 118th consecutive game with a reception, passing Michael Irvin.
On December 7, in a Monday Night Football game against the Washington Redskins, he became the 12th player and second tight end in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions. The only other tight end with 1,000 or more catches is Tony Gonzalez.
During the 2015 season, he was asked to be more involved in the blocking than usual, because of the team playing with four different starting quarterbacks with varying degrees of knowledge of the offense. He led the Cowboys with 77 receptions for 713 yards and three touchdowns.
Against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8, Witten caught the game-winning touchdown in overtime, making him the first player in franchise history to score in 14 seasons. He finished the season 16 receiving yards shy of Michael Irvin's all-time franchise record. Overall, Witten finished the 2016 regular season with 69 receptions for 673 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He caught his first career post-season touchdown from Dak Prescott in the Cowboys' 34–31 Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers.
On March 28, 2017, Witten signed a four-year contract extension with the Cowboys through the 2021 season.
On September 10, 2017, in a 19–3 win against the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, Witten recorded the Cowboys' lone touchdown. In addition, he passed Michael Irvin for most career receiving yards in franchise history. He became the third player in NFL history to have at least 150 catches against one team, joining Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald. On September 17, 2017, in Week 2 against the Denver Broncos, Witten had ten receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown in the 42–17 defeat. He finished the season with 63 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns, on his way to his 11th Pro Bowl, which tied a Cowboys record with Bob Lilly.
On April 26, 2018, reports surfaced that Witten was going to retire and accept a position as the lead analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football telecasts. A week later on May 3, Witten officially announced his retirement and confirmed he would be joining Monday Night Football for the 2018 season.
On February 28, 2019, ESPN announced that Witten will return to the Cowboys on a one-year, $4.5 million deal, and leave his Monday Night Football position at the company.
Witten resides in Westlake, Texas, located in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, with his wife Michelle, an emergency room nurse at Dallas's Parkland Memorial Hospital, and their four children, C.J., Cooper, Landry, and Hadley Grace. Witten is a Christian, and appears in a video on I Am Second in which he talks about his faith.
Witten wrote an opinion piece for ESPN, titled "How Twitter has become NFL locker room poison" in which he detailed the potential negative impact social media can have, particularly on younger players, from his personal experiences.
The 2003 Dallas Cowboys season was the 44th season for the team in the National Football League. Coming off three consecutive 5–11 seasons, Dallas hired former New York Giants, New York Jets, and New England Patriots coach Bill Parcells. In a scheduling coincidence, the Cowboys faced all three said teams in the 2003 regular season.2005 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2005 Dallas Cowboys season was the 46th season for the team in the National Football League. The season began with the team trying to improve on their 6–10 record in 2004. Despite a 7–3 start, the Cowboys ended the season with a 9–7 record and narrowly missed the playoffs.2007 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2007 Dallas Cowboys season was the 48th season for the team in the National Football League. This marked the first season for Wade Phillips as head coach. Jason Garrett also joined the team this season as offensive coordinator. The Cowboys finished the regular season tied for the best record in the NFC (13–3), and earned a first round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. However, they lost their first playoff game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants, a team that they had defeated in their two regular-season matchups, both by ten points or more. With the loss, it extended the Cowboys drought of playoff wins to eleven years and tied the NFL record of 6 straight playoff games lost. 13 players were named to the Pro Bowl, an NFL record.2008 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2008 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 49th season in the National Football League. The season ended when the Cowboys were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles 44–6 in week 17, their worst loss since the 1985 Chicago Bears came to Texas Stadium and beat the Cowboys 44–0. It was the last season the Cowboys played at Texas Stadium; they moved to Cowboys Stadium in 2009. Despite entering the last month of the season four games above .500, they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2005, losing three of their last four games and finishing with a 9–7 record.2010 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2010 Dallas Cowboys season was the 51st season for the team in the National Football League, and the second season playing their home games at Cowboys Stadium. After falling to the Minnesota Vikings in the divisional round of the 2009-10 NFL Playoffs, the Cowboys sought to defend their NFC East division title and contend for a Super Bowl Championship, particularly given that Super Bowl XLV would be played at Cowboys Stadium. However, this did not happen and after a 1–7 start Wade Phillips became the first coach in Cowboys history to be fired during the season. He was replaced by offensive coordinator Jason Garrett. The Cowboys finished the season 6–10, 3rd place in the NFC East, and failed to reach the playoffs. However, under Garrett the team's record was 5–3 as compared to the 1–7 start under Phillips.2012 All-Pro Team
There are three 2012 All-Pro Teams—one each named by the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Writers Association (PFWA), and Sporting News—for performance in the 2012 NFL season. While none of these have the official imprimatur of the NFL (whose official recognition is nomination to the 2013 Pro Bowl), they are included (separately) in the NFL Record and Fact Book. Any player selected to any of the teams can be described as an "All-Pro."
The AP team, with first- and second-team selections, was chosen by a national panel of 50 NFL writers; the Sporting News selection process used a panel of 27 NFL coaches and executives, while the PFWA team is chosen by polling its 300+ members.2012 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2012 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 53rd season National Football League, the fourth playing their home games at Cowboys Stadium and the second full season under head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys matched their win total from 2011, but missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season after losing their final game for the second straight season, this time to the Washington Redskins.2013 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2013 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 54th season in the National Football League, the fifth playing their home games at AT&T Stadium (formerly known as "Cowboys Stadium") and the third full season under head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys finished 8–8 for a third consecutive season, but missed the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season after losing their final game for the third straight season, this time to the Philadelphia Eagles.2017 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2017 Dallas Cowboys season was the franchise's 58th season in the National Football League, the ninth playing their home games at AT&T Stadium and the seventh full season under head coach Jason Garrett. It was also the 29th season under owner Jerry Jones.
For the first time since 2002, quarterback Tony Romo was not on the opening day roster, as he announced his retirement on April 4, 2017. The Cowboys failed to make the playoffs in consecutive seasons, as they were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention after a Week 16 loss at home to the Seattle Seahawks.2018 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2018 season was the Dallas Cowboys' 59th in the National Football League (NFL), their 30th under the ownership of Jerry Jones, their 10th playing their home games at AT&T Stadium, and their eighth full season under head coach Jason Garrett. AT&T Stadium also became the first stadium venue to host the annual draft. For the first time since 2009, wide receiver Dez Bryant was not on the opening day roster, as he was released on April 13, 2018 and later signed with the New Orleans Saints on November 7, 2018. For the first time since 2002, tight end Jason Witten was not on the opening day roster, having announced his retirement on May 3, 2018. For the first time since 2010, kicker Dan Bailey was not on the opening day roster, as he was released on September 1, 2018 and later signed with the Minnesota Vikings on September 17, 2018.
The Cowboys clinched the NFC East division following a Week 16 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a week later, improved their 9–7 record from the previous season with a win over the New York Giants.
In the playoffs, the Cowboys defeated the Seattle Seahawks 24–22 in the Wild Card round and advanced to the Divisional round, where they lost to the Los Angeles Rams 22–30.2019 Dallas Cowboys season
The 2019 Dallas Cowboys season will be the franchise's 60th season in the National Football League, the eleventh playing their home games at AT&T Stadium and the ninth full season under head coach Jason Garrett. This season also marks the return of tight end Jason Witten, who retired in 2018 and spent one year as the color analyst for Monday Night Football. For the first time since 2011, wide receiver Cole Beasley will not be on the roster, as he signed with the Buffalo Bills on March 12, 2019.2nd Annual NFL Honors
The 2nd annual NFL Honors was an awards show presented by the National Football League to salute the best players and plays from the 2012 NFL season. The event was held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 2, 2013 and was hosted by Alec Baldwin. The show aired on CBS and recorded a 0.9 rating with 3.8 million viewers.Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson won four awards, the most of any player. Baldwin's opening monologue, in which he roasted the NFL's biggest stars, was praised. Steve Specht, winner of the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year, was the coach of Luke Kuechly, another award winner, at St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati).Billy Joe DuPree
Billy Joe DuPree (born March 7, 1950) is a former professional American football tight end in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Michigan State University.List of Monday Night Football commentators
The following is a list of sportscasters who have served as commentators for Monday Night Football broadcasts on various networks, along with each commentator's period of tenure on the show (beginning years of each season shown, as the NFL season ends in the calendar year after it begins). Game announcers used in #2 games usually come from ESPN and are included for both wild card playoff games (1995–2005 except 2002–2003 season) and secondary regular season games (1987, 1997, 2005–present).List of most consecutive starts and games played by National Football League players
This is a list of the most consecutive starts and games played by a player by position in the NFL.Brett Favre's starts streak of 297 games is the longest all-time. Among defensive players, Jim Marshall's starts streak of 270 is the longest all-time. Of special note is punter Jeff Feagles, who played in 352 consecutive games which is the longest of all-time for a special teams player. Special teams players are not credited with starts in the NFL. In 2018, Ryan Kerrigan became the most recent player to surpass someone at his position for consecutive starts, having broken the previous mark for left outside linebackers previously held by Jason Gildon.Updated through 2018 season
Bold denotes an active streakShannon Sharpe
Shannon Sharpe (born June 26, 1968) is a former American football tight end who played for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL), as well as a former analyst for CBS Sports on its NFL telecasts. He is a TV presenter who co-hosts Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Skip Bayless.
Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011. He played 12 seasons for the Broncos (1990–1999, 2002–2003) and two with the Ravens (2000–2001), winning three Super Bowls and finishing his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end, until Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten surpassed all three of those records. He was the first tight end to amass over 10,000 receiving yards. He was named to the First Team of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s.Terrell Suggs
Terrell Raymonn Suggs (born October 11, 1982), nicknamed "T-Sizzle," is an American football outside linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Arizona State, and was recognized as a unanimous All-American. He was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens tenth overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, and is the franchise's all-time leader in sacks.Suggs is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, a two time All-Pro, was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, and was part of the Ravens team that won Super Bowl XLVII, beating the San Francisco 49ers. As of the conclusion of the 2018 NFL season, Suggs is tied for 13th all-time in career sacks in NFL history. As of 2019, he is one of only two active players from the 2003 Draft remaining, the other being Jason Witten.Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is presented annually by the National Football League (NFL) honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Prior to 1999, it was called simply the NFL Man of the Year Award. Shortly after Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton died (having been the 1977 recipient himself), the award was renamed to honor his legacy as a humanitarian. Each year, a winner is selected from 32 nominees from the 32 different teams. A panel of judges, which includes the Commissioner of the NFL, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), the previous year's winner, and a number of former players select the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $50,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other 31 finalists also receive donations in their name of $5,000 each to charities of their choice. The Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs have had more winners of the award than any other team, with 5 winners each.
Each winner who is currently active in the league, beginning in Week 14 of the current season, has a patch on their uniforms. The current active winners are: Drew Brees, Jason Witten, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Long, Eli Manning, and J.J. Watt. The nominees of each team are given a helmet decal to wear for the remainder of the season.Witten (surname)
Witten is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:
Louis Witten, American theoretical physicist and father of both Edward and Matt Witten
Edward Witten, theoretical physicist who works mainly in string theory
Matt Witten, screenwriter
Jesse Witten, American tennis player
Jason Witten, football player in the NFL
Dallas Cowboys current roster