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TE Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys

6-5, 257Born: 5-6-1982College: TennesseeDrafted: Round 3

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Photo: Matthew Emmons, US Presswire

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News you need to know

From the upgrade/downgrade report (Mon Dec 5): Witten was held catchless for the first time in 130 games against Minnesota. The Cowboys only threw the ball 18 times, but Minnesota had been a good matchup for opposing tight ends recently. The Giants should be a bounce back game for Witten, who had nine catches against them in Week 1. The Giants also just allowed a big game to Ladarius Green in Week 13.

Week 14: at New York Giants

All TE vs NYG

Mark and Joe say: Good matchup. Dak Prescott was a raw rookie in his first start during Week One, 2016, but he managed to not turn over the football to the Giants with 25/45 for 227 yards passing, zero TDs or interceptions, with zero sacks taken during the narrow 19-20 loss. Since then, Prescott has come on strong and has kept Tony Romo on the sidelines throughout 2016. Prescott had just one TD last week at Minnesota (12/18 for 139 yards passing, one TD and zero interceptions thrown, with three sacks taken for -15 yards, and 6/37/0 rushing to his credit). In the extreme scarcity of receiving yards, Dez Bryant was the only receiver over 30 yards last week, with six targets for 4/84/1 receiving to his credit. Cole Beasley (four for 2/23/0) was second on the team. Prescott now has two games under 200 yards passing in a row, but he had two games over 300 yards passing weeks 10 and 11. The Giants' pass defense averages 265.3 net passing yards allowed per game (25th in the NFL) with 12 passing scores given out vs. 11 interceptions (tied for eighth in the NFL) and 27 sacks (13th in the NFL) generated. From Week 10 to Week 13 of the 2016 season (over the last four weeks, but includes 10 teams on bye during that time span - each team has at least three games played in the last four weeks), New York has averaged 18 fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks (11th-least in the NFL); and 17.4 fantasy points per game allowed to wide receivers (sixth-least); with 11.7 fantasy points given up per game to tight ends (third-most). Last week, Ben Roethlisberger and company managed 24/37 for 272 net yards passing, two TDs and one interception thrown, with two sacks taken for -17 yards. Prescott has a good matchup this week.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRECYDTDFumLPts
10 at PIT 65 6 59 0 0 5.9
11 vs BAL 67 5 37 0 0 3.7
12 vs WAS 56 3 33 0 0 3.3
13 at MIN 52 0 0 0 0 0
14 at NYG PROJ-Dodds * 4 * * * *
14 at NYG PROJ-Tremblay * 4 * * * *
14 at NYG PROJ-Bloom * 5 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2016 Week 13 vs MIN (0 / 0 / 0 / 0 rec)

For the first time since 2008, Witten did not log a reception in a game for the Cowboys. He did not see a target until the fourth quarter, where he converted a third-and-long hitch route, only to be called back by penalty. Beyond the offensive box score, Witten did recover the Vikings' onside kick attempt in the closing seconds to ice the win for Dallas.

2016 Week 12 vs WAS (3 / 3 / 33 / 0 rec)

Witten and Cole Beasley oscillate between the being the preferred chain-moving target for the Dallas pass game by the week. Against Washington, Cole Beasley had the nod with Witten seeing just three targets, his lowest total in a month. Witten's notable catch came where he bobbled a wide open crossing route, ultimately hauling in the pass and rumbling for more than 20 yards. Two short routes with minimal separation encapsulated the rest of Witten's performance.

2016 Week 11 vs BAL (7 / 5 / 37 / 0 rec)

Witten's impact was marginal this week against Baltimore. He dropped his first target, not coming until the second quarter as Dallas struggled out of the gate on offense. The biggest reception for Witten was a third down conversion in the red zone against soft coverage. Without defensive breakdowns or a rogue broken tackle, Witten's big play ratio is low this season as he continues to slow down in his twilight years.

2016 Week 10 vs PIT (8 / 6 / 59 / 0 rec)

Witten had a slow start against Pittsburgh, not seeing a target in the first half. However, he was a central figure in the fourth quarter as Dallas ultimately won a close road game. His highlight play came on a clutch third-and-long out route to convert into field goal range in the closing minutes. While the open running lanes of Week 9's performance were not available to Witten this week, he remains a steady chain mover in key moments for Dallas. Witten has now seen at least eight targets in more than half of the Cowboys games this season. Up in Week 11 are the Ravens and a stingy pass defense against tight ends on the season.

2016 Week 9 vs CLE (10 / 8 / 134 / 1 rec)

After Witten's lowest yardage total of the season (16) in Week 8, the elder tight end exploded for more than double his previous season-high for receiving yards (134) in Week 9 against the Browns. Cleveland's linebackers and safeties struggled throughout the game with defensive breakdowns, all to Witten's benefit. Typically a low after-the-catch player, Witten enjoyed a handful of open field opportunities on deep out and crossing routes. Play-action worked well for Dallas and Witten rolled up 100 yards be early in the third quarter. Witten's touchdown exemplified his rare day as a deep out route evolved into a touchdown as Witten turned upfield with no defender in sight all the way to the end zone.

2016 Week 8 vs PHI (3 / 2 / 16 / 1 rec)

After averaging seven targets per game leading up to Week 8, Witten saw just three looks against the Eagles and none in the first half. His first reception came on a short catch on third-and-long as Dallas playing field position more than looking for the conversion. Witten, however, made the game-winning touchdown as Dak Prescott circles the pocket from pressure, finding the tight end wide open in the end zone for the overtime win. It was Witten's first touchdown of the season. With Dez Bryant back in the lineup, Witten's upside is tempered even more than his current season high of 66 yards in a game.

2016 Week 6 vs GB (8 / 4 / 42 / 0 rec)

For the third straight game Witten led the Cowboys in targets. Like Cole Beasley, Witten provides a stable short-range target for Dak Prescott on critical passing downs. Witten's best gain came on a play-action crossing route as he was wide open down the field. Witten converted a vital third down in the closing minutes, a classic Witten out route, to all but ice the game as Dallas was up by multiple scores and bleeding the clock. Witten's top-shelf upside has left his weekly spectrum, but remains a sturdy bet for consistent work and a handful of targets.

2016 Week 5 vs CIN (5 / 3 / 43 / 0 rec)

Witten led the team in targets for the second straight game. While slowing down in his mid-30s, Witten still has a strong stiff arm, which is showed out this week on a 32-yard catch-and-run effort. On third down, Witten turned up the field after his typical short-range route and outmuscled a defender for the long gain. On the down side, Witten logged an ugly third down drop this week a rare drive-killer in Dallas' comfortable home win against Cincinnati.

2016 Week 4 vs SF (9 / 7 / 47 / 0 rec)

Witten had a team-high nine targets, however, his range of the field continues to shrink. He rarely ventures more than 10 yards downfield anymore, making his sturdy hands paramount to his viability. Witten was invisible until the late second quarter and collected four receptions on a single two-minute drive to close the first half. Witten broke a tackle on a noteworthy reception turning a short gain into five additional yards.

2016 Week 3 vs CHI (2 / 2 / 25 / 0 rec)

It was a muted week of work for Witten as Dallas took the air out of the ball in the comfortable home win against Chicago. Dallas threw the air just 24 times and Witten was fifth on the passing game pecking order with two targets. His notable reception came on a deep out route where Witten nearly scored. Witten went out of bounds just short of the end zone on the play. Cole Beasley has been a more consistent chain-moving option for the Dallas passing game and this week saw Terrance Williams have more involvement than previous games this season.

2016 Week 2 vs WAS (4 / 3 / 51 / 0 rec)

Witten's involvement lagged behind Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley against Washington, a mere four targets. Much of Witten's production came on a broken coverage, play-action rollout by Dak Prescott where Witten rumbled for nearly 30 yards. Later in the game Witten benefitted from play-action again for more than 10 yards. Witten remains a viable weekly option as Dallas' wide receivers beyond Dez Bryant and Cole Beasley have been invisible through two weeks.

2016 Week 1 vs NYG (14 / 9 / 66 / 0 rec)

Witten led the Cowboys with 14 targets (a hearty 31% market share) and 66 yards. Like with Tony Romo, Witten - along with Cole Beasley - was a short-range security blanket for rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. While Witten converted a key third down and moved the chains throughout the game, he made two critical errors against Giants. The first was a holding penalty on a field goal attempt. Fortunately Dallas converted the second long-range attempt post-penalty. Witten also logged a drop in the final minute of the game as Dallas drove for a potential game-winning field goal.

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Latest News

Cowboys | Jason Witten chasing franchise history (Tue Dec 6, 06:37 PM) - Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten (11,768) needs 137 yards to pass retired WR Michael Irvin (11,904) for the most receiving yards in franchise history.

Our View: In four games, Witten should be able to reach that number. Reports indicate the Cowboys are not going to rest their starters when they clinch home-field advantage for the playoffs.

Cowboys | Streak ends for Jason Witten (Fri Dec 2, 12:49 AM) - Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten did not catch a pass in a 17-15 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13, snapping a 130-game streak that dated back to 2008.

Our View: Witten was not a factor as the Cowboys only threw 18 times. He'll be back to low ceiling TE1 status in a better matchup against the Giants next week.
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Schedule

14@ New York Giants
15vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
16vs Detroit Lions
17@ Philadelphia Eagles