|Team:||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Ht / Wt:||6'6" / 261 lb.|
|Born:||May 6, 1982|
|Drafted:||2003 / Rd. 3 (69)|
Witten will sign a one-year deal with the Raiders, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Per Todd Archer of ESPN.com, Witten can earn up to $4.75 million this coming season. The 37-year-old caught 63 passes for 529 yards and four TDs for Dallas in 2019 and will now join a Raiders' tight end corps still headed by Darren Waller (90 catches last season).
Witten isn't expected to re-sign with the Cowboys, Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Analysis: Meanwhile, fellow tight end Blake Jarwin is getting a second-round restricted free agent tender. Witten wants to continue his football career in 2020, but he acknowledged in February that doing so may require leaving Dallas, the only NFL home he's ever known. He'll turn 38 in May, following a 2019 campaign in which he started all 16 games and caught 63 of 83 targets for 529 yards and four touchdowns.
Witten wants to play football in 2020 and is open to signing with a new team, ESPN.com's Todd Archer reports.
Analysis: Witten came out of retirement in 2019 to play a 16th season for the Cowboys. He hopes to re-sign in Dallas this offseason but acknowledged that he may need to go elsewhere to continue his NFL career. The tight end will turn 38 in May, coming off a 2019 campaign with 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games. Witten hasn't produced a gain of more than 36 yards since 2011, but he remains competent as a blocker and short-pass catcher.
Witten completed the 2019 season with 63 catches on 83 targets for 529 yards and four touchdowns.
Analysis: After a year spent in the broadcast booth, Witten returned to the Cowboys and posted nearly identical numbers to 2017 while providing Dak Prescott with a reliable option for short gains and moving the sticks. The 37-year-old tight end has little upside at this stage of his career, and it's not yet clear whether he even wants to return in 2020 having again come up short in his quest for a Super Bowl ring. The Cowboys may also have second thoughts about another reunion, as least with Witten in a starting role, as Blake Jarwin looks capable of handling No. 1 duties.
Witten caught two of three targets for 14 yards in Sunday's loss to the Eagles.
Analysis: Witten had at least four catches in each of the previous three contests, but he was only a minor factor in Dallas' Week 16 offense. The veteran tight end has 59 catches for 505 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games.
Witten caught four of five targets for 36 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 44-21 win over the Rams.
Analysis: The future Hall of Famer opened the scoring late in the first quarter with a 19-yard grab, but he wasn't much of a factor after that as the Cowboys leaned heavily on their running game. Witten now has four TDs on the year, including two in the last three games, but he hasn't topped 42 receiving yards since Week 9. He'll remain a low-ceiling fantasy option in Week 16 against the Eagles.
Witten caught six of eight targets for 42 yards and a touchdown, adding a two-point conversion, in Thursday's 26-15 loss to the Bills.
Analysis: Things were looking bright for the Cowboys after Witten hauled in an eight-yard TD from Dak Prescott on the team's first possession, but the Bills' defense stiffened after that and didn't allow another point until the game was well in hand in the fourth quarter. Witten is essentially a TD-dependent fantasy play at this point -- he has yet to top 60 receiving yards in a game this year -- but he continues to see solid target volume as a reliable checkdown option and chain-mover for Prescott.
Witten caught one of four targets for five yards in Sunday's loss to the Patriots.
Analysis: While the weather and the opponent were both factors, this was still Witten's worst performance of the season in terms of catches and yards. Blake Jarwin has looked consistently more dangerous as a receiver all year, but as yet the Cowboys don't seem inclined to put the 37-year-old Witten in mothballs.
Witten caught five of seven targets for 33 yards in Sunday's win over the Lions.
Analysis: The veteran tight end has caught multiple passes in every game this season, giving him a decent floor in deep PPR formats, but Witten's field-stretching days are well behind him at 37 years old. Unless he's able to get into the end zone, something he hasn't done since Week 2, he's best left on the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues.
Witten caught five of seven targets for 57 yards in Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Jets.
Analysis: The receptions and targets both tied for the team lead on the afternoon, but it was the one Witten couldn't haul in that mattered most -- he was the target of Dak Prescott's two-point conversion attempt in the final minute, but the pass fell short. The five catches and 57 yards were actually season highs for the veteran tight end, and Witten's fantasy ceiling remains limited unless he's able to find the end zone.
Witten caught three of four targets for 29 total yards during Sunday's 34-24 loss to the Packers.
Analysis: Behind by multiple scores for the bulk of the game, the Cowboys were slinging it Sunday, but Witten did not benefit from that aggression. The veteran tight end saw four targets for the fifth consecutive game. He's provided Dak Prescott with a dependable underneath target, but is no better than fourth on the totem pole in an offense that also likes to pound the ball. Up next is a reeling Jets team that features a middle-of-the-road pass defense.
Witten had four catches (four targets) for 50 yards Sunday, but also lost a fumble in a 12-10 loss to the Saints.
Analysis: The usually sure-handed Witten had the ball punched out from behind in the second quarter, hurting what was his second consecutive 50-yard performance. The 37-year-old has seen exactly four targets in each game this season, pulling in all but two through four weeks. Witten is unlikely to go off for big yardage days like he used to in his prime, so he requires a trip to the end zone in order to provide a high-end fantasy stat line. Next week's opponent, Green Bay, is tough against the pass and will likely have Blake Martinez shadowing Witten across the middle.
Witten caught three of four targets for 54 yards during Sunday's 31-6 win over the Dolphins.
Analysis: Witten was used gently in this one, but he made the most of his looks as he finished second on the team in receiving yards. The veteran's two-game touchdown streak came to an end, but his yardage output more than doubled that from his previous two games. Witten will seemingly never receive a huge target share, but he's capable of making an impact in the red zone and still has the trust of Dak Prescott. He'll next face the Saints on the road next Sunday.
Witten caught all four of his targets for 25 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 31-21 win over Washington.
Analysis: Witten gave his team its first lead just before halftime when he connected with Dak Prescott for a beautifully-executed two-yard touchdown. He also made an impressive 18-yard catch as he finished fourth on the team in receiving yardage. Witten clearly will not be used heavily on a weekly basis, but he certainly still appears to be a big part of the red zone offense. He'll look to score for the third consecutive game next Sunday at home against the Dolphins.
Witten caught three of four targets for 15 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Giants.
Analysis: The future Hall of Famer celebrated his return from a one-year sabbatical in the broadcast booth by doing what he does best -- namely, scoring against the Giants. Sixteen of Witten's 69 career TDs have come against the Cowboys' NFC East rivals, nearly as many as he has against Washington (nine) and the Eagles (eight) combined. The 37-year-old was on the field for 45 of the team's 68 offensive snaps (66 percent) in Week 1 compared to Blake Jarwin's 27 (40 percent), but they seemed equally involved as targets for Dak Prescott -- a situation that will limit the fantasy ceiling of both tight ends, even in a passing offense that suddenly looks more explosive than ever.
Witten caught his only target for a 10-yard gain during Saturday's 14-10 preseason win over the Rams.
Analysis: Getting his first taste of preseason action, Witten contributed to his team's impressive opening drive with a reception to set up Tony Pollard's touchdown. He took a seat with the rest of the starters after that point, but it was a nice return to game action for the veteran, who sat out all of last year. Witten should play deeper into the game Saturday against the Texans in an effort that should more closely resemble a regular-season affair.
Witten isn't slated to suit up for Saturday's preseason contest at San Francisco, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Analysis: The Cowboys' No. 1 offense will be afforded 8-to-10 snaps in the exhibition opener, but Witten won't be a part of it, delaying his first game action since returning to football from the broadcast booth. His next chance to take the field will be Aug. 17 against the Rams in L.A. as he prepares for a reduced workload from what he experienced during the first portion of his playing career.
Witten has agreed to play around 25 snaps per game in 2019 and will not impede the progress of the Cowboys' young tight ends, Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
Analysis: Witten's return to the Cowboys was great news for just about everybody but Blake Jarwin, who broke out with a monster seven-reception, 119-yard, three-score outing in the regular-season finale last season. With Geoff Swaim set to become a free agent this spring, that performance seemingly had Jarwin positioned atop the depth chart entering the offseason over the likes of Dalton Schultz and Rico Gathers. While Witten's addition at first seems like it could threaten Jarwin's perch, the fact Witten only wants 20ish snaps per game means Jarwin doesn't need to be a starter to see enough playing time to be of fantasy worth. Witten, meanwhile, logged roughly 17 offensive snaps for every reception he had in his last full season, which doesn't make him a very exciting fantasy prospect ahead of the 2019 campaign given the workload that's reportedly in store for him.
Witten announced he is coming out of retirement and is signing a contract with the Cowboys for the 2019 season, Nick Eatman of the team's official site reports. "The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong," the tight end said in a statement. "This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it. I'm looking forward to getting back in the dirt."
Analysis: Witten retired from the league last May after his inconsistent Cowboys team finished 9-6 and missed the playoffs, opting to try his hand at a career in broadcasting instead. However, it seems a promising, refreshed Cowboys roster that finished the 2018 season 10-6 (with a divisional crown and playoff berth) was too enticing for Witten to pass up.
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