For Dallas Cowboys legends, the theme this season has been “Move over”, as rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have set several team records.
This week, however, it’s veteran tight end Jason Witten who’s about to rewrite the Cowboys record book. Witten needs just 27 yards to break Michael Irvin’s team record of 11,904 career receiving yards.
Witten, 34, has 68 catches for 663 yards in 15 games this season, giving him 1,088 catches for 11,878 yards in his 14-year career. He broke Irvin’s Cowboys record for career catches four years ago.
“Mike’s been a really good mentor in a lot of ways,” Witten told reporters Friday. “He’s what this organization is all about. You hear people talk about what he meant to it. I would have loved to have had him as a teammate. You see it the way he played and carried himself. Passing that person is more than the yardage with what it will mean to me.”
Dez Bryant, who threw a TD pass to Witten last week, passed Irvin on the Cowboys’ career touchdowns list against Detroit. Witten’s third on the list, four behind Bryant and two behind Irvin.
“It’s cool, but you know where we’re trying to go,” Bryant told the team’s website. “Mike’s got that big old ring on his hand. He actually got three of them. That’s the goal.”
With 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards, Witten joined Tony Gonzalez as the only tight ends to reach both milestones. Witten passed former teammate Terrell Owens on the NFL’s career catches list two weeks ago and needs just seven Sunday at Philadelphia to pass Tim Brown for sixth.
Witten broke two other team records this season: Ed “Too Tall” Jones’ record for career starts (203) and Lee Roy Jordan’s record for consecutive starts (154).