Dallas Cowboys veteran tight end Jason Witten has a big decision to make in the offseason. After retiring in 2017, the 11-time Pro Bowler sat out just one season before deciding to make a triumphant return to the NFL this past campaign.
With a new coach at AT&T Stadium, Witten is faced with the task of determining whether fans will see him wear the navy blue and silver for a 16th year.
Heavy spoke with the former Tennessee Volunteer in Miami during Super Bowl LIV and Witten mulled over his next steps and gave his thoughts on new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarty.
Witten on NFL Future: ‘I’m Not Sure Yet’
The 37-year-old recorded 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in the 2019/20 season. After starting the season 3-0 Cowboys finished the year 8-8 and missed the playoffs. When asked whether he has made a final decision about lacing up his cleats for another round, Witten admitted that he was still uncertain.
“I’m not sure yet,” he said. “I’m not sure what I’ll do next, but it will definitely still involve football being at the forefront.”
Now, that may include a return to the booth with ESPN’s Monday Night Football or even taking a role on a coaching staff. Speaking of the latter, Witten was quick to praise San Francisco 49ers assistant offensive coach Katie Sowers for making history in this year’s Super Bowl, adding that this is the start of women being promoted into more decision-making roles.
“I have a friend I played with who is now an assistant on the offensive staff in San Francisco. He constantly says, ‘she’s an amazing coach.’ If they’re a good coach and can handle the responsibility, then let’s focus on that. The amount of women being promoted to decision-making roles not only on the field but around the NFL will truly grow the game and attract a new audience of fans.”
Witten is Welcoming McCarthy With Open Arms
Although they haven’t spent much time together, Witten called McCarthy “first class” and believed this new role could be a good fit for the former Green Bay Packers game manager.
“I’ve had good, honest conversations with him and I think his track record in Green Bay speaks for itself. I think he’s inheriting a really talented roster and I think it’s a great opportunity for him.”
Witten, working alongside Marriott Hotels, was in Miami also celebrating the nearly decade-long partnership between the league and Courtyard Marriott, the “Official Hotel of the NFL.” There’s no disputing just how passionate certain fan bases can be, and Witten happens to play for one of the most enthusiastic legion of supporters across sports in general. That being said, he has learned not to take any of the criticism personally.
“The players are also embracing their roles as leaders and you have to understand that when fans might boo, it’s not always directed toward them,” Witten explained.
In an effort to heighten the fan experience centered around the biggest weekend in football, Marriott held a Super Bowl Sleepover Contest where the winner and three friends won the chance to wake up in a Courtyard transformed suite inside Hard Rock Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday.
Not just reserved for the Super Bowl, Marriott’s mission to provide the ultimate fan experience spans year-round, with more chances for Marriott Bonvoy members to redeem their points to participate various once-in-a-lifetime adventures such as attending April’s NFL Draft and exclusive brunches with NFL legends.