For the third straight season, tight end Jason Witten is on the move. The future Hall of Famer signed a one-year deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
After retiring from football in 2017, Witten joined the Monday Night Football booth for the 2018 season. Then, one year later, Witten took off the headset and rejoined the Dallas Cowboys, the only team he’s ever known. Now, for the 2020 season, Witten trades the Lone Start State for Sin City.
Why Leave Dallas?
For Cowboys fans, it’s going to be weird to see their beloved tight end wear a silver helmet that doesn’t have the iconic blue Cowboys star on it. Witten spent sixteen season with America’s Team. He holds the franchise record in career receptions (1,215), career receivng yards (12,939) and games played (239). Witten is a key piece on a Cowboys offense that has the talent to be a playoff contender. With this in mind, the question arises: why would a legendary player leave the franchise where he became a legend?
ESPN’s Booger McFarland, who replaced Witten in the booth for Monday Night Football, saw this coming.
After another season missing the playoffs, Cowboys fired head coach Jason Garrett, who was with the team in different capacities since 2007. Garrett’s first season as offensive coordinator was Witten’s first season as an All-Pro. Replacing Garrett is former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy. With this change in leadership, it became evident Witten wasn’t in the franchise’s plans for the future.
Viva Las Vegas
Now, Witten is heading to Las Vegas to join the Raiders in their first season in Sin City. Witten joins forces with a fellow former MNF analysis in Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. The signing of Witten gives the Radier offense an experienced voice in the tight end room, dominated by emerging star Darren Waller. Last season, Waller led the team in receptions (90) and receiving yards (1,145).
McFarland says Witten is a perfect fit with the Raiders.