Jason Witten is perhaps my favorite VFL (Vol for Life, for the unacquainted). Witten is an all around great guy who is tough as nails, is productive on the field, and plays the game the right way. A lot of people were caught off-guard when the Cowboys made an announcement this afternoon:
I don’t think anyone would be offended if I say here Witten was just not working out with MNF. I think this is a win for everyone, and I hope it works out. For Witten, he evidently still has a desire to play. The Cowboys are an exciting young team that have the potential to do better, and Witten can help them out. He’s a great veteran presence, and this has the potential to be the best team he’s ever been a part of.
For the Cowboys, they needed more targets for Dak Prescott. Their passing game was a mess before acquiring Amari Cooper last year. Their offense was still missing a middle of the field, mid-range guy, though. You can hardly ask for a better guy to get open and move the ball 10-15 yards downfield than Jason Witten. Witten helps complete this offense and takes pressure off Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper for making the Dallas offense work.
For Monday Night Football, this is a chance at a fresh start. They have an opportunity to look at a variety of different options and see what works best. My advice would be to either (a) offer the Analyst role to Kurt Warner, who has done well in the role on NFL Network when given the chance, or (b) simply move Booger McFarland to the booth, since he seemed to do well last year. Either of those would be good option.
I believe Jason Witten will come back refreshed and ready to help the Cowboys. Under wildly different circumstances, think about what a season off from Football did for Adrian Peterson several years ago. After being suspended for all but one game of the 2014 season, he came back in 2015 and was first-team all-pro. While Jason Witten is not a RB, he’s nonetheless a very physical player who has taken his share of contact. A year off is not necessarily a bad thing for him, and he’ll come back in time to benefit a Dallas team that needs him to get back to the next level. Welcome back, Jason Witten, and I’ll be rooting for the Cowboys to win the NFC this year.