Earlier this week, tight end Jason Witten left ESPN, came out of retirement, and signed a one-year deal to return to the Dallas Cowboys. The All-Pro tight end signed a deal worth $3.5 million, less than a year after announcing he was leaving the game for good, and it’s possible for his contract to max out at $5 million. Some have thought that he just missed the NFL, and that’s possible, but there’s another reason for his return to the field.
Witten spent last season in the ESPN booth calling Monday Night Football, but it appears he wasn’t done playing in the NFL. The 11-time Pro Bowler spent 15 years with the Cowboys and said he still has the “fire” inside of him to play, per ESPN.
“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong. 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.”
While Witten is set to turn 37-years-old in May, it appears as if he has even more of a reason to return to the NFL than just the playful fire. It seems as if being an announcer isn’t what he wanted to do forever after leaving the field and that he actually wants to be a coach in the future.
Jason Witten is returning to the Cowboys, and his old teammates might want to get the band back together in Dallas https://t.co/iIvhFJl7xE
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 1, 2019
There is no doubt that last season’s Monday Night Football broadcast team was not well received by the fans. Witten partnered up with Joe Tessitore in the booth, while Booger McFarland rode along the sideline in the “BoogMobile,” which was highly criticized.
Other than having issues in the booth and wanting to play another year in the NFL, Dallas News reports that Witten is heading back for another reason. It appears as if this additional year on the field with the Cowboys will help the tight end transition into coaching.
It is believed that this move back to the NFL will not only help the Cowboys’ offense, but it gets Witten out of the announcer’s booth and into the league. Depending on how things go with Jason Garrett over the next couple of years, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Witten as a possible head coaching candidate.
Jason Witten hasn’t made it a secret that he’s interested in coaching at some point, and it would make sense to be on the staff of the team with which he’s spent his entire career. The Dallas Cowboys are not against helping their own, and it makes sense for them, as he will help their offense as well.