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December 20, 2012

What in the world would Parcells think about Witten setting a receiving record?

If and when he sets the single-season record for catches by a tight end, Jason Witten will think about Bill Parcells.

What in the world would he say about that?

“Oh, man. I don’t know,” Witten said with a laugh Thursday at Valley Ranch.

Everyone shared a laugh with the veteran tight end, who remembers as a rookie thinking how tough it was to please the former Cowboys coach. In one story that is famous around Valley Ranch, Parcells yelled sarcastically at Witten during a blocking drill: “Oh, that’s right! You’re a receiving tight end!”

“If you were here, you knew he didn’t care for me that much,” Witten said, again with a laugh. “No, I mean that was part of a transition. First year, and he was trying to develop guys, just like you see our staff doing with young players. I was fortunate to be one of those guys who had the desire to be good and willing to work. It wasn’t like I was his guy and he patty-caked me the whole first year. It was a rough year, for sure.”

But when Witten was trying to recover from a lacerated spleen, one of the first people to call him was Parcells.

Witten again couldn’t help but smile.

“He was like my dad: ‘Take care of yourself, now. Be smart,’ ” Witten said, and he said he thought to himself: “Remember this guy? Ten years ago when I had the broken jaw? It didn’t seem like that was the same response.”

But seriously, Witten -- who goes into Sunday's game against the Saints five catches behind the NFL record for catches in a season by a tight end, 102 by Tony Gonzalez -- credits Parcells for much of the success of his career.

“Obviously he had an important part of my development as a young player,” Witten said. “From Day 1 – and I had a long way to go as a player – he believed in me and told me, ‘If you trust me, I know the formula for tight ends.’ And I was just willing to work, and he taught me a lot.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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Comments

The Tuna would be very proud of Witten as we all are. That said..The Tuna would also know the Cowboys will..never..win anything if their tight end continues to be their leading receiver in catches every year.

The Robot [Witten moves like the Robot in Lost in Space] will get the record against St George who are quite frankly tackle shy and who have nothing to play for.

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