Dallas Cowboys Tight End Jason Witten Set to Return After One Year of Retirement

Jason Witten isn't ready to end his playing days, so he's leaving the Monday Night Football broadcast booth.
Jason Witten isn't ready to end his playing days, so he's leaving the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. Keith Allison
With six weeks still to go before the NFL draft, the Cowboys have already filled one of their biggest offseason needs. Jason Witten, the team's longtime Pro Bowl tight end, is coming back after one year in ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast booth.

“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong,” Witten said in a statement. “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.”

During his 15 seasons with the Cowboys, Witten totaled more than 12,000 receiving yards and caught 68 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl 11 times and was voted first team All-Pro twice. His 1,152 career receptions rank fourth in NFL history.

Unlike his longtime teammate Tony Romo, Witten struggled during his first season on TV, failing to find chemistry with broadcast partners Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland. Frequently, the future Hall of Famer was singled out for ridicule on Twitter. Witten's return likely spells the end of incumbent starting tight end Geoff Swaim's time with the Cowboys.

Witten, who will be 37 when the 2019 season starts, will sign a one-year deal for $3.5 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young