Witten, during an interview with ESPN’s Todd Archer, confirmed that he wants to play next season, even if that means playing for someone other than the Cowboys, who selected him in the third round way back in the 2003 draft. Witten, who returned last season after a year in the broadcast booth, is slated to become a free agent with the new league year begins on March 18.
“I think I have to be,” Witten responded when asked if he would be open to playing for a new team. “Obviously, I’d love to finish it out here, but some of those things are not in your control.”
Witten said that he met with Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones, vice president Stephen Jones, and new head coach Mike McCarthy shortly after McCarthy was given the job earlier this offseason. While he described the meeting as “great,” Witten said that nothing was discussed with regard to his possible role with the team moving forward.
An 11-time Pro Bowler, Witten, who will be 38 years old before the start of next season, had nearly identical numbers in 2019 as he did in 2017, catching 63 of 83 targets for 529 yards and four touchdowns. While he still proved to be a reliable option for quarterback Dak Prescott, Witten averaged a career low 8.4 yards per reception, 2.3 yards below his career average of 10.7 yards per catch.
While he did contemplate whether or not he wanted to resume his career this offseason, Witten, speaking from Miami during Super Bowl week, said that he remains driven to win a Super Bowl, something that eluded him during his first 16 seasons. And while he reiterated Monday that he wants to achieve that goal in Dallas, Witten is now open to doing that somewhere else.
“I still feel like I have something to give,” Witten said. “I’ve obviously been on the other side of that in the decision to retire. Yeah, I think coaching is in the future, but I want to play while I can. We’ll see where that takes place. Of course I want it to be with the Dallas Cowboys, and I’ll always be a Dallas Cowboy, but I also understand that with all the changes, that I might have to go somewhere else.”