Writer: Jameson White
As most know, the long-time Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten retired. His decision was abrupt to say the least, but for all that he has done for the Cowboys’ franchise, as well as the National Football League, he has more than earned the right to decide when he would hang up his cleats. He was an 11-time Pro Bowler, a 4-time All-Pro, an NFL Walter Payton Man of Year recipient, and, for over a decade, was considered one of the best tight ends in the NFL. Deeper than just production, Jason Witten’s retirement signifies the changing of leadership on the Cowboys’ roster.
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Almost four years ago, the Dallas Cowboys most valuable players on offense consisted of Tony Romo at quarterback, Demarco Murray at running back, Dez Bryant at wide receiver, and Jason Witten at tight end. However, that group of players, along with the best offensive line and kicker in the NFL, had one playoff win, and not one of them remains on Dallas’ roster. This signals some sort of dis-function, either with management or with personnel. Most of the blame can be on Jerry Jones, as he has had the aforementioned Romo, Murray, Bryant, and Witten, along with the All-Pro players Demarcus Ware, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin, there was no shortage of talent. Yet, Jerry Jones did not surround these talented players with quality role players.
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There would be an attempt to at times in free agency, however, Jones’ spending sprees would often force America’s team into salary cap trouble. As the Cowboys owner said recently, “I really dropped the ball not doing enough to get them in a Super Bowl. That will be and is my biggest regret about my time with the Cowboys.” Jones realizes that he made a mistake not doing more to help his team be successful with all of the talent he had. With Witten’s retirement, it signals the end of a Dallas era; and, hopefully, the end of a Jerry Jones error.