Jason Witten received a game ball for Sunday’s win over the Tennessee Titans, along with the rest of the offensive line that paved the way for the Dallas Cowboys to pound away for 220 rushing yards.
Witten has only six catches for 46 yards in two games, but the franchise’s all-time leading receiver isn’t sweating his individual statistics.
“Our focus is trying to create that identity of a running football team,” Witten said.
Witten, whose 885 career receptions are the second most by a tight end in NFL history, is willing to sacrifice catches as part of the Cowboys’ newfound commitment to the run. He also recognizes defenses will pay less attention to the nine-time Pro Bowl tight end if DeMarco Murray continues to rack up rushing yards, and play-action, in particular, should lead to some big-play opportunities.
“I think for all of us our numbers will come and opportunities will come,” Witten said. “You have less opportunities because of the way you run the football. I think all of us are committed to that and understand it and do whatever we have to do to help out.”
Witten's owners weren't expecting the Cowboys to be so run-heavy when they drafted him in the 7th/8th round. With just six catches in two games, Witten's streak of seven straight seasons with 70-plus catches is in jeopardy. The Cowboys are unlikely to be able to control game flow the way they did against the Titans in Week 2. The defense isn't good enough, so the catches should come.