Jason Witten may be the best tight end in football right now not named Jimmy Graham.
Witten is already the Dallas Cowboys’ franchise leaders in receptions. He’s Tony Romo‘s go-to guy when he needs a first down. Sometimes lost in the comedic-drama that is Cowboys’ football at times Witten has been one of the most consistent players in the NFL for the past ten years regardless of position. Even at age 31, Witten is still producing at a very high level and causing defensive coaches coordinators nightmares week in and week out. While Witten may not have the game-changing breakaway speed or the NBA ready body that other tight ends in the league have, what he does have are two of the surest hands in Cowboys’ history.
The former Tennessee Volunteer has gone over a thousand yards for four out of the last five seasons. The one season in the last five seasons that he did not go for a 1000 yards, he ended up just 68 yards shy with 942. Witten is also very durable having missed very few games in his career and with a year for the Cowboys full of hurt and injured players this has proven key. While some of the more athletic tight ends like the aforementioned Graham and Antonio Gates are notorious for missing a few games every year, Witten has been one of the true iron mans of the NFL.
Witten is the Cowboys’ second leading receiver this year with 35 receptions on the year for three touchdowns. None of Wittens stats will jump out at you this year. But on a team that features so many different offensive weapons such as Dez Bryant who has six touchdowns, rookie Terrance Williams who continues to develop every week with three touchdowns and Witten will have to sacrifice even more receptions when Miles Austin returns from injury. Even with all of these offensive weapons at his disposal, Romo still has one guy that when a play needs to be made 82 is usually the guy around the ball.
Witten is a matchup nightmare that needs to be utilized even more going forward this year. He’s too big and strong for most players in the secondary to cover and he’s deceptively fast for his size as well. Most linebackers the Cowboys’ will face will not be able to keep with the wily veteran.