FRISCO, Texas (AP)
A person with direct knowledge of the decision says Jason Witten is retiring after 15 seasons, choosing the offer of lead analyst for ESPN's "Monday Night Football" over becoming the longest-tenured player in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.
The 10-time Pro Bowl tight end informed Cowboys owner Jerry Jones of his plan to retire Thursday, according to the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision hasn't been announced. Last week, the network's website cited sources it didn't identify in revealing Witten's plan on the second day of the NFL draft.
Just days from turning 36, Witten walks away as the leader in games, catches and yards receiving for a franchise with five Super Bowl wins, but none since the 1995 season. He and Tony Gonzalez are the only tight ends in NFL history with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards.
Witten is tied with Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and the late Mark Tuinei for most seasons by a Dallas player.