Cowboys TE Jason Witten retires, to join ESPN as analyst


The native of Elizabethton, TE trails only Tony Gonzalez for the most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end in league history.

Witten had just signed a new four-year deal worth $29.6 million last season, but he recently restructured his contract to provide $3.5 million in more cap space for the Cowboys.

Witten, an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, is parting ways with Dallas as the franchise leader in pass receptions (1,152), receiving yards (12,488), games played (239) and ranks third in receiving touchdowns (68). It was lowest totals since he became the Cowboys' starting tight end in 2004.

"So, having a former Tennessee player like Jason on national television can only enhance the brand and help Coach [Jeremy] Pruitt take it where he wants to take it".

The multi-year offer from ESPN would pay Witten in the neighborhood of $4 to $4.5 million a year, two sources with an understanding of the offer said. After watching Tony Romo retire last spring, the Dallas Cowboys are now waving goodbye to another of the final holdovers from the Bill Parcells era.

Bryant was released April 13.

"You just look at what Jason represents for the state of Tennessee, being from Elizabethton and the three years he was with the Vols, and the way he has presented himself throughout his National Football League, hall of fame career with the Dallas Cowboys", Clausen said.