“Ultimately, I’m disappointed and frustrated,” Witten said, summing up his emotions after grabbing a season-high 13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown after three subpar efforts to begin the season. “We have to execute plays better offensively. You can’t turn it over and win in this league.”
Eventually, five turnovers – all of them interceptions by quarterback Tony Romo – doomed the Cowboys and cast a pall on some of the historic milestones Witten collected Monday. Among them:
He boosted his career total of receiving yards to 8,097, becoming only the second Cowboy to top the 8,000-yard mark in the franchise’s 53-year history. The other is Michael Irvin (11,904). Against the Bears, Witten passed Tony Hill (7,988) for second on the team’s career list.
He became just the third tight end in NFL history to reach 8,000 receiving yards. The other two are Tony Gonzalez (13,603) and Shannon Sharpe (10,060).
Witten reached the 8,000-yard mark in 147 games, faster than either Gonzalez (149) or Sharpe (178).
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett identified Witten’s resurgence as one of the bright spots in a disappointing contests. Coming into the game, Witten had dropped an NFL-high five passes in the team’s first three games – and made only eight receptions – while rebounding from a lacerated spleen injury sustained during training camp.
Instead of dwelling on his personal achievements, Witten called for the Cowboys to use the Bears’ loss as a “wake-up call” going forward in a season that has started with a 2-2 record heading into the team’s bye week.
“I am confident in the group and this has got to be a wake-up call for us,” Witten said. “I don’t say that nonchalantly. You can’t bounce back and forth like this and try to compete come December … We’ve been in that situation before. You cannot do it and we know that. We’ll get better.”
_ Jimmy Burch