Jason Witten heard from Michael Irvin when he passed the Hall of Famer for the most catches in team history. Witten should hear from Irvin again next week after Witten replaces Irvin for the most receiving yards in team history.
“When I came in this organization, I learned real quick his mentality and approach and who he was,” Witten said. “He meant a lot to this organization. He’s the Playmaker. He was a heck of a player. But I think the thing I respect more is just how approached the game. You hear people say that all the time and I hope people say that about my career, he approached an OTA the same way he did a playoff game. I have a lot of respect for him. I’d be honored to pass him in the record books.”
Witten, who has 11,878 career receiving yards, needs only 27 yards to pass Irvin for the top spot in team history. That ranks Witten second in NFL history among tight ends behind only Tony Gonzalez (15,127).
“It’s going to be special,” Witten said of topping Irvin. “The opportunities I’ve been able to have and to be able to think of all the great receivers and tight ends to play in this organization.”
Witten’s 63 career receiving touchdowns ranks fourth in team history behind Bob Hayes (71), Dez Bryant (67) and Irvin (65). His 1,088 receptions now are 338 more than Irvin.
“I think when you have an opportunity to be in situations to pass some of those guys, the first thing is you’ve been at it a long time,” Witten said. “That’s the thing that sticks out the most. I never really reflect on that. I’m sure there will be a time. This one will be special to pass Michael if I have that opportunity just because of who he was to this organization, more than just the yards. But to now be mentioned with these guys on the reception list and those situations, you do things the right way, you try to play at a high level and be consistent and be a leader and the other stuff will work itself out through Sunday in, Sunday out. More than that, to have an opportunity to earn a one seed and in these next four, five weeks and see what that hold. I mean that motivates me more than any reception I can get.”