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December 23, 2012

Witten sets NFL single-season receiving record for tight ends in Cowboys' loss to Saints

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten made NFL history Sunday but was in no mood to celebrate his milestone moment.

That’s because catching his 103rd pass of the season _ an NFL single-season record for a tight end _ paled in comparison to Sunday’s 34-31 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints that knocked Dallas (8-7) out of a share of first place in the NFC East Division.

“I would rather it come in a different way, when you can go out and have a win and enjoy it,” said Witten, who eclipsed the mark held by Tony Gonzalez (102), set in 2004 when he played for Kansas City. “But it’s something that’s special. Obviously, there have been a lot of good tight ends play for a long time and I have so much respect for the game and this position. To break that, it’s special.  Probably moreso this year because of the way the season started for me. It’s something I’m going to remember for a long time.”

Witten began the season slowly, grabbing a combined eight passes in the Cowboys’ first three games while recuperating from a lacerated spleen that sidelined him for most of training camp. But he’s produced prolific numbers since Oct. 1, when he grabbed a team-high 13 passes against the Chicago Bears.

Witten’s sixth, and final, reception Sunday against the Saints _ a 5-yarder in overtime _ allowed him to pass Gonzalez for the NFL mark.

_ Jimmy Burch

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