The longest-tenured player on the Dallas Cowboys roster will be staying with the team until 2021.
The timing of Witten’s contract extension comes at an ideal time for both Witten and the Cowboys to know where they stood beyond next season. Witten is entering the final year of his deal this season that will pay him $7.4 million.
A cap hit of $12.2 million will still be charged under Witten’s name in the final season of a five-year, $37 million extension that was signed right before the start of the 2011 regular season.
“He represents everything we want in a football player and he continues to get better and better and better,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett on Tuesday. “It’s an amazing thing to say, a guy who’s played as long as he has. But he had an outstanding year for us this past year, he embraces any role we give him, and we love having him on our football team and we love having him as a leader on our team.”
Dallas will also be able to restructure Witten’s contract at any given time assuming the needed for money arises for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to approve the team’s defense or the offensive arsenal around quarterback Dak Prescott for the long-term future.
Although Witten’s rule seems to be reduced in some way every year, he is still giving Dallas consistent production each year as the ultimate security blanket for whoever is under center. Witten has caught 60 or more passes every year since he first entered the league in 2003.
In-addition to being consistent with the play, Witten has been consistent in terms of his durability. Witten has played in 223 out of 224 possible regular season games in his career, despite battling up to several injuries at a time on some occasions.
2017 can be yet another historic season for Witten, as he can move into 5th place on the NFL’s all-time catch list with only 13 catches needed to move past legendary wide receiver Cris Carter. Only Tony Gonzalez has more career catches than Witten when you go by just tight ends, as Gonzalez ranks 2nd on the catches list behind only Jerry Rice.
Witten will turn 35 this off-season, as his age 34 season brought him 69 catches for 673 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns.
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