Jason Witten may be entering his 16th season but shows limited signs of slowing down.
The Dallas Cowboys have been fortunate to have the same starting tight end for the last 15 seasons. Witten has missed a total of one game during that time span and that came as a rookie in 2003.
Drafted by the Cowboys in the third round that 2003 season, it’s safe to say the Cowboys struck gold with that pick!
During his 15-year career, Witten has been a staple in the pro bowl with both his receiving stats and blocking skills. He has 1152 receptions for 12,448 yards and 68 touchdowns in 239 career games.
Outside of his rookie season, 2017 was the worst statistical season for the veteran tight end. He finished with just 560 yards on 63 receptions and five touchdowns. He still made the pro bowl, most likely for the additional things he brings to the football field.
According to Pro Football Focus, Witten ranked second at his position for dropped passes. He dropped just two on the season. This was based on 65 catchable balls last season, good enough for a 3.08% drop percentage.
As the Cowboys prepare for the upcoming season, Witten will carry the same leadership roles. He will also have a big impact on what the Cowboys do in 2018.
Jason Witten ranked second among tight ends with just two drops in 2017! pic.twitter.com/oAaUeZ4qNa
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 19, 2018
Stephen Jones was standing about 3 feet away from Jason Witten when he was asked a question about potentially drafting his replacement this spring. His answer was hilarious. pic.twitter.com/VTVzvM2nGx
— David Helman (@HelmanDC) February 23, 2018
Rico Gathers is a player that the Cowboys have high hopes for but continues to be just that a hope. He has yet to play a down in the regular season. He spent his rookie season on the team’s practice squad, and his second season was cut short during the preseason. Gathers suffered a concussion in training camp, forcing him to miss the entire season of his second year.
Gathers is a player that can help Witten extend his career. If he can turn out to be the player some feel he will, it can allow Witten to be fresh late in the year.
How much of an impact will Witten have in 2018? Will Gathers finally make his debut in 2018?