Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has an appreciation for the history of America’s Team and would have liked to become the franchise’s all-time receiving leader on Sunday.
Witten needed only 27 receiving yards to pass Hall of Famer Michael Irvin for the top spot. But that record will have to wait until next year as Witten had an early exit with several starters being pulled in the first half.
Witten finished with one catch for 10 yards, and is now 17 yards away from breaking Irvin’s record of 11,904 yards.
“I thought we were going to have a chance at it,” Witten said after the Cowboys’ 27-13 loss to the Eagles. “But we’re playing for a lot more than that. Certainly, it’s been a great 14 years and if I’m fortunate to get Michael and to pass him, and what all that entails.
“As I said early in the week, it’s more about the person than anything else. He was so passionate and such an unbelievable player. That will come, but my focus is on these next three weeks and specifically this next week, to have an opportunity to be the one seed. It’s hard to have that. We’ve earned it. I know first-hand that’s my message to these guys in this locker room, it’s hard to get here and now it all starts.”
Witten already holds the franchise mark for most receptions. He has 1,089, which is 339 more than Irvin. He also is fourth in Cowboys history for receiving touchdowns with 63, behind Bob Hayes (71), Dez Bryant (67) and Irvin (65).
Witten ranks second in NFL history among tight ends in receiving yards behind only Tony Gonzalez (15,127).