The Dallas Cowboys turned some heads on Thursday when they passed on the top wide receivers in the draft in favor of a linebacker from Boise State, leaving open a gaping hole in a passing offense in need of weapons for quarterback Dak Prescott.
The hole in the passing offense just doubled in size with the breaking news, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, that tight end Jason Witten intends on retiring to join the Monday Night Football booth this fall.
The news comes at a surprise to the Cowboys after Witten signed a four-year extension last year and indicated he wanted to play until he turned 40. The future hall of fame tight end appeared to be committed to playing in 2018 and beyond, and the timing of his retirement puts the team in a pickle.
According to beat writer Clarence Hill, the Cowboys were blindsided by the late decision by Witten, and according to Hill: “The irony is he blindsided them late in process like they did Dez Bryant. What will make you laugh will make you cry. He did what was best for him in terms of timing. It ain’t personal its business.”
If in fact, Witten does formally retire today when he meets with Jerry Jones, Geoff Swaim, Rico Gathers, and Blake Jarwin would be the three remaining tight ends on the Cowboys. The team may look to address the position in the draft, with Dallas Goedert and Mike Gesicki still on the board.