“There’s nothing there,” Witten said (via the Dallas Morning News). “Look, I’m enjoying where I’m at. Those guys are red-hot. They don’t need to change a thing with the way they’re playing and the way that defense is playing.
“They’re in good shape and so am I.”
Hours after the report, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones disputed it, too. “That’s just not correct, period,” Jones said (via the Morning News) after the game. “He misses competing, but he’s got his head down and hands in the dirt, doing the job on ‘Monday Night Football’.”
Witten, 36, spent all of his 15 seasons in the NFL with Dallas and finished second all-time in the NFL in receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448) by a tight end, trailing only Tony Gonzalez in both categories. Cowboys tight ends had relative success Sunday, with Blake Jarwin catching seven passes for 56 yards and Dalton Schultz catching three for 37. Geoff Swaim, who had the most experience of the bunch, has been out since breaking his wrist last month.
In fairness, moving to TV isn’t easy for everyone. Witten’s former quarterback, Tony Romo, made it look ridiculously simple when he joined CBS last year. But while Romo’s games have been marked by enthusiasm and the ability to effectively explain and predict plays, Witten’s have been notable for an unfortunate comparison of Giants running back Saquon Barkley to O.J. Simpson, a gaffe about Aaron Rodgers pulling “a rabbit out of his head” and a comment about the NFL becoming too “left wing.” ESPN was left to explain that last one, and Witten told The Washington Post’s Ben Strauss that “it was a mix-up in words. I was saying the pendulum was moving to the left and I guess the nerves of being a rookie — I mean trust me I would never get into rushing the passer and politics.”