Dallas Cowboys

Stephen Jones: No timetable on Jason Witten decision, not talking him into playing

Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones said the team is giving tight end Jason Witten time and space to decide whether he wants to continue his career or retire to take a job in television.

ESPN has offered Witten a job to be its game analyst on "Monday Night Football," and he’s leaning toward taking the position, according to sources.

The news broke right before the start of the 2018 NFL Draft last week, and Witten told the Cowboys he needed a few days, possibly through the weekend, to make a final decision.

Speaking at a news conference to announce an IBF world title fight between undefeated welterweight boxing champion Errol Spence Jr. and Carlos Ocampo, set for June 16 at the Star in Frisco on SHOWTIME, Jones said there was no timetable on the Witten decision.

The 15-year veteran has not been at the team’s voluntary workouts this week, and the Cowboys were going to give him all the time he needed.

“He wants to make the right decision here for himself and his family,” Jones said. “He needed his time. If it takes two more weeks, it takes two more weeks; if it takes a month, it takes a month. He deserves it. So he can make the best decision for Jason Witten.

“We have so much support for him. We want it to be right for him. We would love to have him be a Cowboy because of what he brings to the table. We are a better football team with him.”

Jones called Witten one of the top five guys to ever play for the Cowboys.

But if he decides to retire and do something different, they will support that as well.

Jones said the Cowboys have resisted trying to talk Witten into playing because of the commitment it takes to play the game. They want it to be his decision.

“We struggle with that,” Jones said. “You don’t want to talk someone into something. This is a tough game. I learned a lot from Coach Bill Parcells. You have to be all in to play this game. You want to him to do what’s in the best interest of him and his family. We don’t need to be selfish.

"We support what's best in for him. We don’t need to be talking him into something. He knows we are a much better football team with him. We would love to have him. At the same time, we are going to be so supportive of him.”

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