Jerry Rice stood out among the people who reached out to Jason Witten after the Cowboys tight end joined the 1,000 Catch Club on Monday night.
Rice tweeted his congratulations to Witten.
“I think for every kid growing up, he was the guy we all looked to,” Witten said Thursday. “That was neat, even as a 33-year-old to get that. I’ve been around a lot of neat circumstances, but that was pretty special to see that.”
Witten hasn’t heard from Tony Gonzalez, the only other tight end with 1,000 catches. Gonzalez retired with 1,325 receptions for 15,127 yards and 73 touchdowns.
Witten needed four fewer games to reach 1,000 than Gonzalez. But at his current average of 79 catches per season, Witten would have to play at least another four seasons to break the NFL record for catches by a tight end.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to get that one,” said Witten, who has missed only one game in his career. “Just take it one game at a time. You’ve heard that before.”
Only 10 other players in NFL history have 1,000 catches besides Witten and Gonzalez, which puts Witten in an exclusive club. One of only two tight ends in the club makes it even that much more exclusive.
“There’s only two tight ends to do it,” Witten said. “I don’t know. As time goes, records are meant to be broken. So I’m sure there will be others. But right now, I think it does speak probably even more so than joining the group is just knowing I’m the second [tight end].”