Guys like Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten are rare in the NFL. It is not easy to find guys like him that have played as well as he has and for as long. With 14 years of experience under his belt, he provides the Cowboys young quarterback with a much-needed veteran safety valve in games.
But his usefulness is not restricted to just games or the offense. Veterans like Witten have something every young player on the Dallas roster can learn from. Last Thursday, during a minicamp practice, he had a “teaching” moment with the Cowboys young safety, Byron Jones.
Jason Witten takes Byron Jones to school in 1-on-1 in front of entire team: pic.twitter.com/DBvDpqOZZU
— Brandon George (@DMN_George) August 9, 2016
“Just having a little fun, competitive, you know,” Witten said, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “It’s been chippy all offseason between the offense and defense. Just making each other better. He’s turning into this player, and I’m constantly challenging Byron that I think he can play at that level. I think he can be one of those guys. It’s good to have those competitions and get him fired up a little bit. Great stage to do it.”
Jones described the shoving in much the same way—fun.
“We were just having fun. Just a little fun out there,” Jones said. “One more day to compete so why not make it good.”
A few plays after the “fun” Jones broke up a pass intended for Witten who ended up on the ground. Jones broke up another pass on the next play intended for Brice Butler in the end zone.
Witten later remarked that he liked seeing Jones step up and take a leadership role on a unit that lost several veteran players during the offseason. But will he do the same once the regular season starts?
Dallas Cowboys fans can only hope so.