Nearly every time the camera panned to the Dallas Cowboys‘ sideline Thursday night, players’ faces resembled a cocktail of disappointment and apathy, resignation over their third consecutive loss and a once-promising season that’s taken a steep nosedive.
Some had thousand-yard stares plastered across their faces. Others were evidently frustrated amid another no-show on national television.
Nobody reacted like Jason Witten, however. That is to say, nobody — least of all clapping head coach Jason Garrett — displayed the type of desperate motivation a checked-out club largely lacked against the Chicago Bears.
Suffice it to say, Witten was heated on the bench, with the FOX broadcast catching the veteran tight end spouting an expletive-laden, emotionally-charged message to an unknown coach.
A consummate professional who unretired for a second shot at a championship, leaving his cushy broadcasting job in the process, Witten has rarely blown up to such a degree.
This was a shock but wholly indicative of Dallas’ 2019 campaign.
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Witten Explains Outburst
Cooler heads prevailed following the Cowboys’ 31-24 loss to the Bears. Slightly. Witten clarified in his post-game huddle with reporters that he’s not apologetic for attempting to galvanize the team — that his eruption came from a well-intentioned place.
“I just, well, did you see the game? I was just trying to get something going,” he said, per The Athletic. “I have played a lot of football, and I realize this opportunity is rare for all of us.”
Witten was a lone bright spot on an otherwise bleak night in the Windy City. He collected the second-most receptions (5) among Cowboys pass-catchers and finished with 37 yards in his usual role as Dak Prescott’s safety blanket.
Jerry Jones Curses at Radio Hosts in Wild Interview
The Cowboys boss made Witten’s reaction look extremely tame. Jones was seething mad — the angriest he’s been in quite some time — during a Friday morning appearance on 105.3 The Fan.
The interview went off the rails from the outset, as the radio show’s hosts immediately asked Jones if he was embarrassed by the Cowboys’ effort against Chicago. Jones, with the vitriol of someone who just flew economy cross-country (he didn’t), wasn’t having it.
“Get your damn act together yourself. OK? Settle down just a little bit. … I don’t like your attitude to come in. I’ve been traveling all night and don’t have the patience to jack with you today,” he responded, via The Athletic.
Jones appeared to have followed the expletive with a hang-up, the line going dead. But as NFL Network’s Jane Slater uncovered, the radio system automatically dumps calls featuring consecutive curse words.
He phoned back in a few seconds later to finish the interview, ending with a heckuva quip regarding the Cowboys’ fatal flaws, which he bluntly was told to “go fix.”
“Then I’ll move on to the country’s problems. Seriously. Seriously man. That’s fair,” Jones responded, per USA Today.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL