It’s a one-year deal that can be worth up to $4.75M, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. Although we heard last month that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones wanted Witten back, the tight end himself had said he was open to playing with another team. Witten also said that he preferred to finish his career in Dallas, but obviously it didn’t work out. Witten is a Cowboys icon, who spent 16 years with the team before now finally moving on at the age of 37.
Witten, of course, retired after the 2017 season for a brief and ill-fated stint as the Monday Night Football color commentator for ESPN. He’ll now be playing for a coach, Jon Gruden, who used to hold that exact role. After sitting out 2018, he returned to the Cowboys last year, and played a relatively significant role.
He appeared in all 16 games, catching 63 passes for 529 yards and four touchdowns. Despite his advanced age, Witten has been remarkably durable, appearing in all 16 games in each of his last 15 seasons. He’ll likely play a reduced role as a pass-catcher in Vegas, and will probably serve as more of a mentor for Darren Waller, the Raiders tight end who broke out last year.
Witten was one of the last remaining ties to the old era of Cowboys football, and Dallas will likely move forward with Blake Jarwin as their unquestioned starter at the position. They signaled as much by inking him to a three-year extension Monday. Witten will end his run in Dallas as the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receptions, yards, and games played. He’s also fourth on the NFL’s all-time receptions list.
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