Pro football players often move from the playing field to the broadcast booth, but a move in the other direction is still relatively uncommon. But Jason Witten is making that move, returning to play tight end for the Dallas Cowboys following a stint on “Monday Night Football.”
Witten’s year in the booth wasn’t exactly a triumph, with The New York Post reporting that his work as a broadcaster was heavily criticized.
Witten released a statement saying: “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.”
The Post reports: “For ESPN, it will now decide whether to stick with Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland or replace Witten.” The report adds: “Kurt Warner was considered the runner-up when Witten got the job. ESPN is also trying to land Carolina tight end Greg Olsen, who also has an offer from Fox and may return to the Panthers.”
ESPN said in a statement: “We thank Jason for his many contributions to ‘Monday Night Football’ and to ESPN over the past year and wish him continued success. We have seen many former coaches and players go into broadcasting before eventually returning to the game they love, so we understand Jason’s desire to return to the Dallas Cowboys.”
Witten is an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, two-time first team All-Pro and recipient of the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2012.