Jason Witten says he still wants to play, even if it means leaving the Cowboys

Jason Witten isn’t ready to hang up his cleats again, and that might mean an exit from the only NFL team he has ever played for.

The 37-year-old tight end told reporters Monday that he still wants to play football after his 16th season in the league, and that he’s ready to sign with another team if the Cowboys don’t want him back.

“I want to play, I think I want to explore that,” Witten said. “I think it’s the right fit in the role. I feel like I still have something to give. I’ve been on the other side of that, made that decision to retire. I just think coaching’s in the future but, right now, I want to play while I can.

“We’ll see where that takes place. Of course, I want that to be with the Dallas Cowboys, and I always will be a Dallas Cowboy, but I also understand that might mean with all the changes, I have to go somewhere else.”

He also said he had a brief but “good” meeting with new Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy.

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) lines up for a play in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Jason Witten will be 38 years old next season. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Witten ended his retirement last season to return to the Cowboys and was reasonably productive, hauling in 63-of-83 targets for 529 receiving yards and four touchdowns. However, the Cowboys are going to want to find a younger replacement on some point, be it Blake Jarwin or someone else.

Witten is currently a free agent after the expiration of the one-year, $4.25 million deal he signed with the Cowboys last year. It’s not hard to imagine he’d find takers in free agency thanks to his years of experience, with one possibility being the New York Giants where Jason Garrett — Witten’s head coach for nine seasons — is offensive coordinator.

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