Witten caught 10 of 13 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 42-17 loss to the Broncos. Dallas' all-time leader in catches and receiving yards added another franchise record to his tally when he passed Ed "Too Tall" Jones and played in his 225th game as a Cowboy. Witten also leapfrogged Cris Carter and Marvin Harrison to take fourth place on the NFL's career receptions leaderboard with 1,106. The future Hall of Famer has had a great start to the 2017 season, and with a number of top tight ends getting hurt already this year, he looks like a very safe fantasy harbor heading into next week's road game against the Cardinals.
Witten caught seven of nine targets for 59 yards and one touchdown in the Cowboys' 19-3 victory over the Giants on Sunday. An 11-yard catch in the second quarter was enough to push Witten past Michael Irvin for the Cowboys' all-time record for receiving yardage. The veteran tight end ultimately finished his memorable night tied with Dez Bryant for the lead in targets and still appears to be a key cog in the passing attack entering his 15th season in the league. Next week will likely bring tougher sledding, though, as the Cowboys travel to Denver to face a Broncos defense that finished first against the pass last year.
Witten has been forced to take more days off during training camp this year by the Cowboys coaching staff than in previous seasons, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports. Heading into his 15th NFL campaign, Witten remains in excellent shape for a 35-year-old. "He does not want to take those days off," offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said Wednesday. "He's just listening and trusting the people that are giving him advice from not only coaches but the trainers and everybody else. I think that's helped." Witten's 673 receiving yards in 2016 were his lowest total since his rookie year, but the chemistry he's developed with Dak Prescott should allow him to remain a dependable option when the Cowboys need to move the chains, even if he won't stretch the field or be a big factor in the red zone. There's little fantasy ceiling left with the future Hall of Famer, but provided Father Time doesn't catch up to him all at once, his floor remains fairly secure.
The Cowboys signed Witten to a four-year extension that runs through 2021, ESPN's Todd Archer reports. Witten will celebrate his 35th birthday in May as he prepares for his 15th NFL season. While it can safely be assumed the final few years of his extension don't contain any guaranteed money, the deal still suggests he'll consider playing beyond 2017 and give the team a little more time to find and develop his successor at tight end. Witten is coming off a 2016 campaign in which he fell shy of 700 receiving yards for the first time since his rookie season, catching 69 of 95 targets for 673 yards and three touchdowns. His decreased production was partially a result of the Cowboys' run-heavy offense, but he should be able to handle an every-down role for at least another year or two. It's possible the offense could open up a bit in Dak Prescott's sophomore campaign.
Witten intends on returning for the 2017 season, ESPN's Todd Archer reports. Witten's 14th season came to a close with Sunday's playoff defeat to the Packers, but the veteran plans on continuing his career next season. At 34 years old, Witten finished second on the Cowboys with 69 receptions for 673 yards and three touchdowns this year, and he also scored his first postseason touchdown Sunday. In what's currently slated to be his final season under contract in Dallas, Witten could very well become the franchise's all-time leader in receiving yards and games played while suiting up in 2017.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/01||Los Angeles Rams||13||5.00|
|5||10/08||Green Bay Packers||2||1.00|
|7||10/22||@San Francisco 49ers||3||2.00|
|9||11/05||Kansas City Chiefs||19||7.00|
|12||11/23||Los Angeles Chargers||15||6.00|
|14||12/10||@New York Giants||27||11.00|
|3 Year Avg||96||70||696||4||39||9.94||93|