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Jason Witten among elite tight endsBy Todd Archer, ESPN Dallas.com November 15, 2011
Gradually he has moved into becoming the team's conscience, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Coach Jason Garrett talks about Witten's approach to the game as something that should be emulated by everybody. Last week Garrett said Witten is playing himself into Hall of Fame territory.
"Anytime you talk about a seven-time Pro Bowler, who catches 80, 85, 90 passes a year, you're talking about one of the best guys to play," Garrett said. "You've heard me say this before, but as productive as he's been, as talented as he is, what separates him is his approach to the game. He loves it. He's competitive. His attention to detail and his desire to be great individually is really unsurpassed."
Rookie running backs DeMarco Murray and Phillip Tanner have copied some of Witten's preparation on the field and off of it. Murray, who had his third game of more than 100 yards on the ground Sunday, is taking some of the same supplements and vitamins. He finds himself in the hot and cold tubs during the week to help his body recover.
"I just feel lucky enough to have been in position to have him be my tight end," Romo said..Witten finished with five catches for 37 yards Sunday, a rather pedestrian game in a season that is shaping up as a norm for him: 87 catches, 1,040 yards.
It would be his sixth season with at least 80 catches, which could put him ahead of Atlanta's Gonzalez for the most 80-catch seasons by a tight end. It would be his third straight 1,000-yard season and fourth 1,000-yard season of his career.
They are numbers reserved for players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where Newsome and Sharpe reside and where one day Gonzalez will end up, too.
Witten is 29 and signed a contract extension through 2017 at the start of the season. He is hardly slowing down.
"Being a fan of the game, you always look up to those types of guys that really have given you an opportunity," Witten said. "I've got a long way to go, but it's special."