He played well. He played hurt. He stayed loyal. And after another playoff loss in 2010 some of us Dirk Nowitzki fans wondered aloud if it would be better to trade the best player in Mavs’ history to a team that would allow him a chance to play for an NBA title.
Nowitzki stayed put, took a salary reduction to help bolster his roster and won the championship in 2011, his 13th season.
Is it time to look at Jason Witten the same way? After all, it’s not difficult to believe he’s too good of a player to endure this bad of an organization.
Witten, who just completed his 13th NFL season, has no more individual goals to accomplish. He’s missed one game in his career. He’s played in 10 Pro Bowls, is the franchise’s all-time leader in catches and has the second most receptions by a tight end in NFL history. He’s a first-class citizen and spokesman for the franchise, a no-brainer to be enshrined into the Ring of Honor and perhaps the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Sound familiar? We threw the same accolades at Nowitzki five years ago.
Dirk cringed at the thought of leaving Dallas just to play for a title. Not surprisingly, same with Witten.
“I would just say this: I'm all in," Witten said recently on KTCK-AM. "I've said that before, with this group and these guys. I haven't even thought about the fact that this team can't do it and this group won't do it here for this city and this franchise. That thought hasn't even entered my mind. I believe we can do that. I believe this group can compete and win a championship. I'm all in here."
Nowitzki got his shot to win a title. Here’s hoping Witten, who hasn’t yet even played in a conference championship game, gets the same opportunity.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.