GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas – Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten approves of the front office selecting Zack Martin with the sixteenth overall pick in this month’s draft. Martin is the third offensive linemen the Cowboys have taken in the first round in the past four seasons after having not taken one in the first round since 1981.
The perennial Pro Bowl tight end condones the recent draft picks.
“I think just picking, to say, shore up a spot that’s important to us is one thing,” Witten said at his fifth annual Citi Jason Witten Football ProCamp in partnership with Albertsons at the Gopher Warrior Bowl. “But these guys are really good players. And I think Tyron is as good of an offensive lineman in the National Football League. Travis is everything we want at center. He’s smart. He’s tough. He’s only going to get better in his second year. Now, Zack”
The Cowboys all-time receptions leader believes that when a team solidifies their offensive line, it serves as a catalyst for the entire football team being successful. Witten attests the NFL is a league where if a team can be good along the offensive line, all of the other units flow off of that.
“I think it says a lot of where our football team is headed, and it’s huge for us. For a long time, we didn’t have that solidified. So, it speaks volumes for where we’re at and where we’re trying to go.”
Jason Witten’s annual election to team captaincy rivals the electoral success of Franklin D. Roosevelt. He is an elder statesman on the team. Players look up to him, and media look to him for state of addresses. On Friday, during rookie minicamps, Witten ran his conditioning sprints off to the side on the same field where the rookies were working. Some interpreted it as the 2012 Walter Payton Man of the Year recipient setting an example for the rookies
“Those guys were probably huffing and puffing. They probably didn’t notice I was out there, to be honest,” Witten smiled.
He did emphasize that the rookies would, “learn the leadership of this team.” Witten stated it is his job, and that of his veteran teammates, to teach the younger players, “the pace at which we go at.” When the time comes, the six-time All Pro will edify the rookies in the “Cowboy Way.”
Another time that is coming is the conclusion of a future Hall of Famer’s career. Witten enters his twelfth season this autumn, but the 32 year-old indicated that retirement hasn’t at all crossed his mind.
“I haven’t thought about it one time,” said Witten. “You know, obviously, I know I probably have less football ahead of me than I do more, but, you know, I think there’s a core group of guys that experienced success and adversity together and we want to come out on the other end. And that’s competing for a championship.
“I’m exhausting all of my efforts trying to do that.”
Jason Witten understands that the success he has enjoyed as a player has given him a, “huge platform and impact” to reach the youth, the less fortunate, and other deserving categories. At Witten’s ProCamp, the Cowboys starting tight end announced that there were 400 campers grades 1-8. Witten said the experience to teach these children was a reward.
“I said all along that I want to be the best player I can be. I also understand the huge platform and impact to be able to give back. Nothing better than to do it on the football field and teach them about football, to teach them about life.”
Citi Jason Witten Football ProCamp in partnership with Albertsons teamed up with The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas and Taco Bell Foundation for Teens to provide camp scholarship to local disadvantaged kids. For more information on ProCamps, visit www.ProCamps.com.