Garrett has gotten a closer look at him since the start of the off-season program last month. He says Witten looks like the same player that ended the 2017 season with the Cowboys before going to ESPN.
“Yeah, he looks like the same guy to me,” Garrett said. “He was doing different things. He was traveling the world, announcing football. But you could tell he kept himself in shape, and you could tell this has been on his mind. He really hasn’t skipped a beat. Completely involved in our off-season program, on the field with us last week. He looked really good. He’s moving well. Excited to have him back.”
Witten is expected to play 25 snaps a game as he shares the position with Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz.
But Garrett doesn’t expect a lesser Witten and he is proving it in practice already. He is in great shape and is burning younger and seemingly faster defensive backs.
“He looks the same. He looks the same,” Garrett said. “His weight is 250, low 260s. He looks fast. He looks quick. He looks flexible and moving around really well. He really hasn’t skipped a beat. Completely involved in our off-season program. On the field last week, he looked really good.”
Garrett had a similarly positive report about center Travis Frederick, who is participating in the off-season program after missing all last season with Guillain-Barre syndrome.
Frederick has been mainly cleared for individual drills. He will not do any team work until training camp but so far so good.
“It’s been great,” Garrett told reporters of Frederick’s return. “He’s done so well. Toward the end of the year, he started feeling better and better, and he’s been able to go through our entire off-season program up to this point. He was on the field with the guys last week so it was good to see him out there, in his stance, running football plays. He looks really good. Again, he’s an outstanding player and an outstanding person. We’re excited to get him back.”
Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.