FRISCO - If the Dallas Cowboys don’t have room for Jason Witten, could the iconic tight end in 2020 coach - or even play - in another NFL city?
A source inside The Star tells CowboysSI.com that such scenarios -as difficult as they might be for team owner Jerry Jones - have been broached.
Witten himself has said he plans to go into coaching following retirement, but at 37, the future Hall-of-Famer hasn’t yet decided to stop playing. In fact Chris Mortensen of ESPN is mentioning the possibility of him playing for the Giants, where his old coach Jason Garrett was just hired as offensive coordinator.
Witten returned to Dallas after a year in the ESPN broadcast booth and considered himself productive in 2019 as he had 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns. But while Jones has often called Witten “one of the top five people I’ve met in football,” new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy - who has visited with Witten about what McCarthy called his many career “options” - hasn’t committed a roster spot to him. And while Witten could accept a Cowboys job as a lower-level coach, or in scouting or in administration (McCarthy, with unilateral power to hire his own staff has tabbed Lunda Wells to supervise tight ends) it now appears that one of his “options” might be to work against the Cowboys rather than with them.
"I think it will be a pretty quick decision,'' Witten said back in Week 17 of his retirement choice timetable. "When I’m done playing, (coaching is) something I’d like to do, for sure.''
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At what level would Witten like to coach?
"Right here,'' Witten said, again cleverly leaving the listener responsible for determining if "right here'' means "the NFL'' or "the Cowboys.''
Based on my conversations with Witten and with the Jones family's noteworthy admiration for him (Jerry thinks of him as being "John Wayne''), it's almost impossible to imagine Witten being allowed to go coach tight ends in Tampa or Cleveland or wherever. ... Or, for that matter, to play in New York.
"You're talking about the Dallas Cowboys,'' Witten recently said about coaching the Cowboys. “It's a great job. You can put (this franchise) up against any in all of sports.''
But that may not be one of Witten’s options now. So ... his decision is delayed as he explores others.