DALLAS - Former Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has retired from the NFL, this time for good.
According to ESPN's Todd Archer, Witten will sign a one-day contract with the Cowboys so he can retire as a member of the organization.
“A coach once told me, ‘The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example,'" Witten said in a statement to ESPN. "As I hang it up, I walk away knowing that for 17 seasons I gave it my absolute all. I am proud of my accomplishments as a football player on the field and the example I tried to set off of it. Football is a great game that has taught me many valuable lessons, and I look forward to passing on that knowledge to the next generation.”
Witten played two more seasons in the NFL, one with the Cowboys and one with the Raiders, after initially retiring to take over the color analyst role on ESPN's Monday Night Football.
He retires with the most receiving yards (12,977 yards) and catches (1,215) in Cowboys franchise history. Witten finishes behind only Dez Bryant on the team's all-time touchdown leaders list (72).
Thanks to his 17-year career, Witten played more games than any other tight end in NFL history (271). Tony Gonzalez is the only tight end who has more receptions (1,325) and yards (15,127) than Witten.
Witten was an 11-time Pro Bowler and a two-time First-Team All-Pro. He won the league's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award in 2012 and was elected into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will induct Witten into the team's Ring of Honor at some point and he's eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2026.
Witten has always stated that he would like to get into coaching once his playing career comes to an end. It's unknown at this time when he'll look to make the jump into that side of football.