Jason Witten Leaving ESPN Job on “MNF” to Return to Cowboys

Witten is ending his retirement and will return to Dallas for his 16th NFL season.

Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the game against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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By Evan Bleier / February 28, 2019 1:25 pm

After enduring a season of abuse for the way he called football games on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, longtime Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is packing up and going home to Dallas.

Witten, who was expected to return to the MNF booth in 2019, announced he is coming back to the Cowboys for what will be his 16th season in the NFL.

It’s a big blow to ESPN but could be a boon for the Cowboys, who struggled to get consistent offensive production from the tight end position last season.

While that may still be an issue with the Hall of Famer, 36, back on the roster, Witten should, at worst, be a security blanket for young quarterback Dak Prescott.

“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong,” Witten said in a statement. “This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it.  I’m looking forward to getting back in the dirt.”

Witten currently ranks fourth in NFL history on the all-time receptions list behind Jerry Rice, Tony Gonzalez, and Larry Fitzgerald with 1,152 career catches.

The veteran pass-catcher will rejoin a Cowboys squad that finished 10-6 and won a wild-card game before falling to the LA Rams in the NFC’s divisional round.

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