With the release of linebacker Bradie James and cornerback Terence Newman, Jason Witten became the longest tenured Cowboy in the locker room, which, to be frank, makes us feel kind of old.
Both James and Newman entered the league with Witten in the class of 2003--James was a fourth round pick, Newman was a first rounder and Witten was a third rounder--but it was announced last week that James would head to Houston to be reunited with Wade Phillips; Newman, it was announced, would reunite with former Dallas assistant Mike Zimmer in Cincinnati.
(Tony Romo entered the league that year as well, but as an undrafted free agent, he signed shortly after the draft.)
At a recent autograph session, Witten looked back on the 11 seasons he spent with the two--remembering them fondly but with a nod to the fact that pro football is, of course, a business.
“It goes fast,” Witten said, per ESPN Dallas. “I think that even makes it more that your legacy as a player is ultimately tied to winning championships. Being around that building with the guys’ names on the wall and pictures on the wall obviously they’re elite players, but they made everybody around them better. It’s what challenges us. But it was a great run with those guys.
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"It’s unfortunate when it’s over because, you know, man, it would’ve been nice to have had that ultimate goal of that shared commitment of going to a Super Bowl. But those guys were great teammates who came to work every day and it’s part of the business. Those guys you look at as friends for life, put a lot of work in together, but that’s the way the game goes. We wish them the best, you keep in touch, but it’s a business.”