TE Jason Witten - Dallas Cowboys
|6-5, 257||Born: 5-6-1982||College: Tennessee||Drafted: Round 3|
News you need to know
General News (Fri Feb 3): said he does not expect to receive a contract extension this offseason even though he is entering the final year of his contract. Witten said he is taking things year-to-year and is not sure how much longer he will play.
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Recent Game Summaries
2016 Week 19 vs GB (9 / 6 / 59 / 1 rec)
Witten had a strong receiving effort in the loss against Green Bay. The elder tight end was integral to Dallas' late-game comeback, converting third-and-long into the red zone against zone coverage. Witten also came wide open on a goal line play-action score. In pass protection, however, Witten whiffed against a blitzing Micah Hyde who ultimately sacked Dak Prescott. The mistake led to an opening drive punt as Dallas got down big in the first half. Witten is clearly on the downslope of his long-standing career, logging less than 700 receiving yards for the first time since his 2003 rookie season. With a strong rookie crop of tight ends in the 2017 NFL Draft, this may be the year Dallas drafted Witten's sooner-than-later replacement.
2016 Week 17 vs PHI (1 / 1 / 10 / 0 rec)
Witten, like Dez Bryant, saw minimal targets in Dallas' meaningless season finale against Philadelphia. Witten blocked plenty and saw just a single target. Witten made the contested play on a quick out route early in the contest. Witten, like the other top offensive players for the Cowboys, emerged without injury and now looks ahead to their playoff tilt following a well-deserved bye week.
2016 Week 16 vs DET (4 / 2 / 33 / 1 rec)
Targets were at a premium in Dallas' pass game in the comfortable win over Detroit. Witten was wide open on both of his catches. The first came early in the game off a play-action look and Witten escaping out the backside for most of his yardage for the game (23). Witten caught Dez Bryant's first NFL touchdown pass as the tight end was wide open in the end zone after the end-around action in the backfield. Witten had an opportunity for a second touchdown, coming open down the seam in the red zone, but he did not get his head around in time to locate the Dak Prescott pass.
2016 Week 15 vs TB (10 / 10 / 51 / 0 rec)
After two quiet games, totaling four receptions total, Witten led Dallas in catches against Tampa Bay. His routes were limited to within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage and yards after the catch held to a minimum by the good tackling of Tampa Bay's linebackers and safeties over the middle. In the mid-fourth quarter, Witten took a hard hit after a short reception, coughing up a fumble in Dallas territory. The turnover could have proved costly but Dallas still pulled out the close home win.
2016 Week 14 vs NYG (7 / 4 / 26 / 0 rec)
After being held without a catch in Week 13, Witten was back on the map with seven targets. Witten struggled to separate, a common theme most weeks this season, outside of an early reception of note. Witten eluded the first defender on a quick play-action out route before turning up field for more than 10 yards. His other three receptions were short-range hitch routes, boxing out defenders and being tackled immediately. Tampa Bay offers a neutral tight end matchup for Witten next week.
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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