Sunday, November 4, 2012

Jason Witten Passes Michael Irvin for Most Receptions in Cowboys History

Jason Witten is the new catch king of the Dallas Cowboys. The longtime Cowboys tight end reeled in the 751st pass of his career against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday Night Football, passing Michael Irvin for the most in team history.

Dallas drafted Witten in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft out of Tennessee. It quickly became apparent he would greatly exceed that level of value, contributing immediately to the offense in his rookie season with 35 catches.

It was in his second season that he really began to take off, though. He made 87 catches for 980 yards and six touchdowns, establishing himself as one of the league's best tight ends en route to his first of seven Pro Bowl selections.

Since that point, Witten has never finished with less than 60 catches or 750 yards in any season. More impressively, he has only missed a single game during his entire 10-year career and that came during his rookie campaign.

In other words, he's been Mr. Reliable in Dallas for a decade and, while the team hasn't always lived up to the incredible hype that surrounds it on a yearly basis, he has never stopped making plays.

These type of records are broken pretty frequently throughout an NFL season, especially with the high-powered offenses around the league nowadays, but Witten's is special. Breaking any Cowboys record is a noteworthy accomplishment.

The storied franchise has featured many fantastic receivers and tight ends over the years. Now, Witten has passed them all and will only keep adding to his lead for the foreseeable future since he's under contract for five more years.

Bob Hayes, Drew Pearson and, of course, Michael Irvin, are among the big names Witten has overtaken along the way, etching himself in stone as a legend of America's Team.

That said, Witten has probably been underrated from a national perspective. Even though he's been in the upper echelon of tight ends for most of his career, he has never been the top guy. Thus, he hasn't received the type of recognition he deserves.

Perhaps breaking Irvin's record will finally allow that to happen. Few players have been as consistency productive–at any position–over the past 10 seasons and he still has plenty of football left in him.

It's the second straight record-breaking week for Witten. He broke the single-game catch mark for tight ends last Sunday against the New York Giants with 18, which is also a franchise record.

Just another example of Witten getting the job done.



Masakatsu Funaki Fabricio Werdum Harold Howard Alexander Otsuka Jae Suk Lim

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