Jason Witten says he wants to play another season, and Jerry Jones says he’s hopeful that Dallas can re-sign him. But there’s not much tread left on those tires.
Witten has had a great career – he’ll likely wind up in the Hall of Fame – but he’ll be 38 in May, and he simply can’t run anymore. With no ability to get downfield, his role is limited to trying to find open spots for short receptions underneath.
Witten averaged only 8.4 yards per catch last year. Back in 2017 (he didn’t play in 2018) he averaged only 8.9. In the last 20 years, 154 tight ends have caught at least 60 passes in a season. Only six others have averaged fewer than 9 yards per catch.
Averaging even under 10 yards isn’t all that common. Witten has done it five times, but only 18 other tight ends have averaged under 10 yards per catch (that’s out of that group of 149 others with at least 60 catches).
|TIGHT ENDS UNDER 10 YARDS PER CATCH|
|2014||Jermaine Gresham, Cin.||62||460||7.4||5|
|2005||Jermaine Wiggins, Min.||69||568||8.2||1|
|2019||Jason Witten, Dall.||63||529||8.4||4|
|2016||Dennis Pitta, Balt.||86||729||8.5||2|
|2017||Benjamin Watson, Balt.||61||522||8.6||4|
|2017||Jack Doyle, Ind.||80||690||8.6||4|
|2017||Jason Witten, Dall.||63||560||8.9||5|
|2015||Heath Miller, Pitt.||60||535||8.9||2|
|2000||Frank Wycheck, Ten.||70||636||9.1||4|
|2015||Jason Witten, Dall.||77||713||9.3||3|
|2018||Austin Hooper, Atl.||71||660||9.3||4|
|2011||Brandon Pettigrew, Det.||83||777||9.4||5|
|2010||Tony Gonzalez, Atl.||70||656||9.4||6|
|2010||Jacob Tamme, Ind.||67||631||9.4||4|
|2006||Jeremy Shockey, NYG||66||623||9.4||7|
|2012||Jason Witten, Dall.||110||1,039||9.5||3|
|2013||Delanie Walker, Ten.||60||571||9.5||6|
|2005||Randy McMichael, Mia.||60||582||9.7||5|
|2016||Jason Witten, Dall.||69||673||9.8||3|
|2006||Kellen Winslow, Cle.||89||875||9.8||3|
|2014||Larry Donnell, NYG||63||623||9.9||6|
|2018||Kyle Rudolph, Min.||64||634||9.9||4|
|2004||Jermaine Wiggins, Min.||71||705||9.9||4|
With Witten being right at the end, the Cowboys probably wouldn’t be bringing him back to play a featured role. They might be more interested in having him come in for a limited number of obvious passing situations, converting a few third downs with short receptions.
The Cowboys have a new coach, Mike McCarthy, and he isn't necessarily a big believer in Witten.
For fantasy purposes, I don’t see Witten having any chance of posting top-15 numbers this season.