Cowboys’ Jason Witten To Retire, Join ESPN

It’s a done deal. Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has informed owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett that he will retire in order to join the Monday Night Football broadcast booth, multiple sources tell Todd Archer of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Witten first informed the Cowboys of the offer to join MNF before the draft, but Jones implored Witten to think it over for a few days. Although it was believed from the get-go that Witten would follow through on retirement, the veteran struggled with the decision for the last week, Archer hears.

Witten leaves the game with the fourth-most catches in NFL history (1,152) behind only Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, and Larry Fitzgerald. He’s also leaving football without the Super Bowl ring he has chased since 2003, which is probably part of what made the decision difficult for him.

Top tier broadcasting jobs such as the color commentary position in the Monday Night Football booth rarely become available and Witten did not want to let this opportunity pass him by. He’s also not taking much of a pay cut – he would have earned $6.5MM in total from the Cowboys this year, but ESPN will pay him in the range of $4MM to $4.5MM.

Witten was a hot commodity in broadcasting this year as another mystery network also pursued him. Witten ultimately settled on ESPN, meaning that each of the NFL’s big three broadcasting partners will employ ex-Cowboys as their top color commentators.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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10 comments on “Cowboys’ Jason Witten To Retire, Join ESPN

  1. justinkm19

    Good for him, and the Cowboys. Time to turn the page. He’s always been slow, but last year he just couldn’t get open after 5 yards.

    Rico time!!!

    • Ironman_4life

      He was one of the best not too long ago but his career left with Romo.

    • hughcapet987

      Witten gave an outstanding career for the Cowboys, but he over extended his longevity last season. Good he retired without long term in-capacities.

  2. ships1941

    Poor Jerry boy, first Dez, now Jason. Ya think that maybe the cowgirls
    Will ask Dez to come back. Lmao.

  3. toby312

    Wonder if they will go after his recent contract switched to have his 2018 salary converted into bonus for cap reasons? I hope not. Sounds like a no brainer for him since MNF dough is same as what he’d make in 2018 with cowboys

  4. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    I want to complain about all of the ex-Cowboys since I don’t like that team and didn’t like any of them during their playing days, but…

    Meanwhile, Deion is my favorite NFL media person. I like Irvin. And when I finally gave Romo a chance, turns out he was great, too.

    Aikman still sucks. He and Joe Buck are just awful.

    • thadimus

      You lost me at Deion is your favorite nfl media person…he is god awful

  5. hughcapet987

    Cowboys did well in drafting a TE in the 4th round (Schultz) who can block and catch. Also picked up an UDFA in Wells from San Diego St. who is of the same caliber.

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