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|Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten plans to retire after 15 seasons and join ESPN as its lead analyst for the "Monday Night Football" telecast Womens Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , the network reported Friday.
Witten met with owner and general manager Jerry Jones, who said no announcement was coming Friday. Jones said he had several conversations with Witten this week and indicated the franchise leader in games, catches and yards receiving hadn't made a final decision.
"He has some things to think about and discuss with his family from a professional perspective," Jones said before the introductory news conference for first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch.
"He also told me those things are going to require a few more days of consideration, at least through the weekend. He has not made any decisions that are definite at this time."
Jones said the Cowboys would have no other comment on Witten's future the rest of the weekend, which includes the last two days of the NFL draft on Friday and Saturday.
The news on the second day of the draft could affect Dallas' plans just a week after Witten suggested he might play until he was 40 and intended to return this coming season. Witten turns 36 early next month.
If Witten leaves Dallas, it's the second straight year that a Cowboys star is retiring to go into broadcasting. Former quarterback Tony Romo became the lead analyst for CBS last season.
Witten is also the franchise leader in consecutive games, starts and consecutive starts. The 10-time Pro Bowler will finish tied with defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones, safety Bill Bates and late offensive lineman Mark Tuinei for most seasons in franchise history.
The decision by Witten also would mean the Cowboys have lost two of their top three players in career touchdown catches this month. The club released receiver Dez Bryant, the club leader with 73 TD grabs Womens Jordan Howard Jersey , in a cost-cutting move. Witten is third with 68, three behind Hall of Famer Bob Hayes.
A third-round pick out of Tennessee in 2003, Witten had 1,152 catches for 12,448 yards. He and Tony Gonzalez are the only tight ends with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards.
But stats and flash never really defined Witten, always praised by coach Jason Garrett as the best two-way tight end in the NFL because of his blocking ability.
Even though he was still active, the team paid tribute to him in its new practice facility with a huge picture of Witten running down the field against Philadelphia in 2007 without his helmet, which was knocked off on a hit as he stayed on his feet and kept going for almost 30 yards.
The decision by Witten would mean the lead analyst job at all three networks will be held by former players who spent their entire careers with the Cowboys. The other is Fox's Troy Aikman Youth Le'Veon Bell Jersey , who won three Super Bowls as quarterback in the 1990s.
Witten and Romo spent 14 seasons together, but never got the Cowboys to the NFC championship game. Dallas won two wild-card games with them, but lost both times in the divisional round.
While Andy Dalton was throwing deep passes to A.J. Green and the rest of the Bengals receivers on Friday, Tyler Eifert was on a side field running sprints in shorts and a cut-off shirt.
He ran one sprint, then another. Next were some agility drills. The tight end did everything except catch one of Dalton’s spirals.
The Bengals’ most oft-injured player hopes that part comes soon.
The Bengals have gambled that Eifert can stay healthy for a full season and get the NFL’s worst offense moving again. He played only two games last season before hurting his back again, prompting another medical procedure. Eifert was a free agent after the season, and the Bengals decided to keep him with an incentive-laden, one-year deal .
Cincinnati’s offense finished last in the league in yards. A healthy Eifert could help change that.
”I can’t predict the future on that one, but I can testify to the fact that he made a difference when he was up and running for us,” director of player personnel Duke Tobin said. ”We know what he can do if he can get back to that level.”
Eifert is one of Dalton’s favorite targets. He caught 13 touchdown passes in 2015 Womens Kareem Hunt Jersey , the most by a tight end in Bengals history. That was the last time the Bengals made the playoffs. A concussion, a dislocated elbow, a torn ankle ligament and two back injuries have limited him to 24 games over the last four years.
Although the Bengals have encouraging reports on Eifert’s back, they’ve decided to go slow with him at the start of camp. He hasn’t been cleared to practice even though he feels he’s ready, forcing him to work out on a side field the first two days.
”When I came back, I thought I’d go right into practice,” Eifert said. ”Everyone knows all the surgeries I’ve had. We’re just being smart about it.”
The Bengals are trying to keep him healthy and get him in shape for the opener at Indianapolis on Sept. 9. He said there’s been no discussion about how much he might play in the preseason.
”I definitely need to get back out there, get some plays full-speed,” Eifert said. ”It’s been a while.”
Eifert hurt his back during the second game last season, a 13-9 loss to Houston. Backups Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah combined for 52 catches and eight touchdowns during the season.
Eifert’s greatest asset is his ability to make catches in tight coverage Authentic Mike Evans Jersey , the main reason he became Dalton’s favorite target near the goal line. The tight end has made one change in the offseason, dropping at least 10 pounds for quickness.
”I feel a lot better,” he said. ”Everyone is always saying you’re got to block and hang in there in the trenches, you’ve got to put on weight, but that’s (wrong).”
ON THE SIDE: Linebacker Vontaze Burfict also worked out on the side Friday for the second straight day. He hasn’t been cleared to practice. Burfict is suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
ROSS AGAIN: Second-year receiver John Ross made his second impressive catch of camp on a long throw, drawing applause from the crowd of 1,050. Ross missed most of his rookie season with shoulder injuries.
OUCH: Tony McRae fell while trying to break up a pass, and receiver Cody Core landed on the back of the cornerback’s right leg. McRae limped to a cart and was taken off for an exam.
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