Jason Witten Ends Retirement, Leaving ESPN Booth To Play For Cowboys Again


February 28, 2019

Jason Witten’s time in the “Monday Night Football” booth is over — at least for a year.

That might be burying the lede a little bit, though, because the Dallas Cowboys announced Thursday that Witten is returning to the team and will play again in 2019 after spending one year in retirement.

“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.”

He’ll make pretty decent money, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.

Witten was fairly effective in what was his final season with the Cowboys, catching 63 passes for 560 yards in 2017. Witten was especially good in the red zone, catching five touchdown passes for Dallas. His catch percentage (72.4 percent) was right around his career marks, too, but he wasn’t nearly as explosive. The only season he had fewer receiving yards (560) was his rookie season, and his 8.9 yards per catch was the lowest average of his career.

ESPN tried to make a splash by hiring Witten for the “Monday Night Football” broadcast, teaming him up with veteran play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore and former NFL defensive tackle Booger McFarland. The team was widely criticized, especially Witten who had a habit of stating the obvious while also enduring his share of verbal flubs.

Thumbnail photo via Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports Images
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