When coach Jason Garrett called for members of his team to step up and be leaders, he likely was not talking about tight end Jason Witten.
The seven-time Pro Bowler has been the epitome of a team leader on an and off the field throughout his career with the Cowboys. Garrett is looking for guys to step up and help carry the mantle.
As for Witten, he just wants him to keep doing what he's always done, not just with the Cowboys but, as Garrett suspects, likely dating back to his childhood.
“If you got guys on the playground when they were six or seven years old, I think some people have a personality that other people are drawn to," Garrett said. "I bet if I went back to Witten of his youth, he would be that guy on that playground organizing the game, people looking to him, in the classroom people looking to him. I just think he has that way about him. He’s a guy that people are drawn to in general, and then you add the fact that he’s such a good football player and he has so much credibility.
"He’s an eight-time Pro Bowler, and maybe more than that for me, his credibility stems from watching him do his job each and every day, in the meeting room, on the practice field, whatever it is. The attention that he has to the details of his game and making himself the best player he can be, it’s remarkable. As good as any player I’ve been around. That personality, then the way he does it, he’s an easy guy to follow."
“I have a tremendous desire to play this game. Love playing it, love practicing it. I took a lot of pride in playing,” Witten said. “Jason’s been a key part of that inner circle for me that I can go to and set the bar higher and higher and higher for myself. Fortunate to have a coach like him who not only believes in you as a player, but pushes you to be better and better. I think he understands that respect’s mutual.”