Jason Witten to retire from NFL as member of Dallas Cowboys

Witten will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.
Witten will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006.(WVLT)
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 8:07 AM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Former University of Tennessee tight end, Jason Witten is retiring after 17 seasons in the NFL.

Witten said he plans to sign a one-day contract and retire as a member of the Dallas Cowboys in March when his contract with the Las Vegas Raiders expires.

The 38-year-old played 16 seasons with the Cowboys and played the 2020 season with the Raiders. Witten has played in 271 games and holds the record for most NFL games played by a tight end.

Witten first retired following the 2017 season and worked as an ESPN analyst for Monday Night Football. He returned to the Cowboys in 2019.

Phillip Fulmer coached Witten during his time at UT and famously switched Witten to tight end during his freshman season after beginning his career as a defensive end.

Witten had a standout three-year career (2000-02) at UT, earning All-American honors from The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated in 2002. Witten earned consensus first-team All-SEC recognition in 2002 after establishing a then single-season school record for catches (39) and receiving yards (493) by a tight end. Witten helped lead the Vols to an appearance in the 2001 SEC Championship game and a victory over Michigan in the Florida Citrus Bowl.

After leaving UT, Witten was selected in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He was named to the Pro Bowl 11 times during his career. Witten is the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receptions (1,215) and yards (12,977) and is second in touchdown catches (72).

In 2012, Witten was named the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year for his work with his Jason Witten SCORE Foundation, which has launched numerous outreach programs and funded several new building projects in Texas and Tennessee.

The Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award was established in 2017 in the Elizabethton native’s honor to reward the Division I college football player who “has demonstrated a record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship on and off the field.”

Witten will be eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Witten’s name has been linked to coaching positions across college football and the NFL. He has not stated whether or not he will take on coaching following his retirement.

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