ESPN’s Jason Witten has taken a lot of criticism for his uneven performances in the Monday Night Football booth this season, and he had another forgettable moment early on in Sunday’s Pro Bowl.
After AFC quarterback Patrick Mahomes found tight end Eric Ebron for the game’s first touchdown, Witten remarked that Ebron “was his guy all year” despite the fact that the two play for rival teams.
Not only are Mahomes and Ebron on different teams, but the quarterback’s Kansas City Chiefs actually beat the tight end’s Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round of the playoffs, so it’s hard to know what was going through Witten’s mind at that point.
Twitter certainly didn’t let him off the hook for his gaffe.
Witten has made light of some of his previous mistakes in the booth this season. Expect him to do the same here or ignore it entirely.
Jason Witten has not even spent a full season as a broadcaster with his new ESPN gig, and his former coach has already tried to convince him to come out of retirement and return to playing in the NFL.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has made more than one attempt this season to get Witten to put the pads on again, including recently when he tried to sell the former tight end on the idea of a postseason run. While Witten was still a productive player last season and probably still could be, he has resisted the urge.
The Cowboys have turned things around recently with four straight wins and appear to be headed to the playoffs. Adding Amari Cooper has given their passing game a boost, but they still lack a playmaking tight end. Witten, who caught 63 passes and scored five touchdowns last season, could probably stabilize the Dallas offense even more.
Witten has had some rough moments in his first season with the “Monday Night Football” crew, but the 36-year-old must have been certain about his new career path when he retired from playing last year. It seems unlikely that he will change his mind at this point.
Jason Witten has been criticized for what some felt was a hypocritical take this week about the Washington Redskins claiming Reuben Foster off waivers, and the former tight end has tried to clarify his stance.
During the second half of “Monday Night Football” between the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, the topic of domestic violence came up among the ESPN broadcast crew. Witten said he has a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence and ripped the Redskins for using “horrendous judgment” in claiming Foster.
Witten’s take rubbed people the wrong way because it wasn’t all that long ago that he publicly supported the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to sign Greg Hardy, who had also faced disturbing allegations of domestic violence. Witten praised Hardy for being a hard worker and good teammate, and he admitted on Wednesday that he regretted the way he handled the situation.
As Robert Littal of Black Sports Online put it, Witten was being a company man by not speaking out against the Cowboys signing Hardy. He apparently told the team privately that he did not agree with the move, but the public remarks were the only ones that resonated.
Witten’s family was affected by domestic violence when he was growing up, and his charity has focused its efforts on curbing domestic violence and working with victims.
The first season in the booth has not been all that easy for Witten, as this is not the first time he has been crushed for something he said during the broadcast.
Jason Witten made clear how he feels about the Washington Redskins claiming Reuben Foster off waivers.
During the second half of “Monday Night Football” between the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, the ESPN broadcast crew had a discussion about domestic violence. Analyst Booger McFarland stressed that domestic violence is a societal problem, while Witten crushed Washington for adding Foster after the 49ers cut him over his arrest last week for suspected domestic violence.
When asked if Washington should have claimed the linebacker, Witten did not mince words.
“A hundred percent, no. I believe the Washington Redskins used horrendous judgment in claiming this guy. I understand that it’s an ongoing investigation. But my family has been affected by domestic violence. I understand the anguish that it causes. Young players just have to understand there is no tolerance for putting your hands on a woman, period.”
Witten’s answer should not come as a great surprise. His charity has focused its efforts on curbing domestic violence and working with victims. Witten’s family was affected by domestic violence when he was growing up, which has led to his passionate thoughts on the subject.
Despite his feelings on the matter, Witten has also expressed support for former teammates Greg Hardy and Ezekiel Elliott, who both faced domestic violence accusations.
Jason Witten had arguably the most embarrassing moment of his young broadcasting career on Monday night, but at least he has a good sense of humor about it.
After Aaron Rodgers led a touchdown drive to tie the game at 30 late in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ win over the 49ers, Witten tried likening the Pro Bowl quarterback to a magician. He did so by saying Rodgers pulled a “rabbit out of his head.”
What Witten meant to say, of course, was that Rodgers pulled a “rabbit out of his hat.” To his credit, the former Cowboys tight end mocked himself for the embarrassing flub after the game.
Witten has experienced some growing pains in his first season with the “Monday Night Football” crew, and fans couldn’t wait to jump all over him for the blunder. He has some work to do if he wants to become one of the better analysts in the business, but being able to laugh at yourself is half the battle.
Jason Witten continues to get crushed by fans for his commentary on “Monday Night Football,” which included an extremely embarrassing moment while calling the Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers game.
Witten praised Aaron Rodgers for throwing a touchdown that helped the Packers tie the game with the 49ers at 30 late in the fourth quarter. He tried comparing him to a magician but screwed up his “rabbit out of the hat” line and instead said “rabbit out of his head.”
Fans crushed Witten for screwing up the line:
At least he was able to joke about his error:
Witten is in his first year as a broadcaster after playing 15 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. He is showing how much of a rookie he is, and hasn’t made as smooth of a transition as his former quarterback, Tony Romo, who fans immediately loved in the booth.
Jason Witten has only served as the lead analyst for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” for three regular season games, but the network has already had to respond to its first controversy with the former Dallas Cowboys tight end.
Like many others, Witten is not a fan of the NFL’s new roughing the passer rules. He made that known during Monday night’s game between the Steelers and Buccaneers when several personal fouls were called, and at one point he described the new rules as “a little bit too left wing.”
Some wondered if that was a political remark, as the most common use of “left wing” is when describing Democrats or liberals. ESPN insisted Witten’s commentary was in no way related to politics.
As expected, Witten has drawn mixed reviews in his first season in the broadcast booth. He already showed he isn’t afraid to criticize his former team, but he is still establishing an identity as an announcer. It seems doubtful that he would want that identity to have to do with political affiliations.
Jason Witten thinks one of the big keys to the Dallas Cowboys’ offense this season will be who emerges among the wide receivers.
Witten surprisingly retired during the offseason to take a broadcasting job with ESPN. With his departure and Dez Bryant’s, the Cowboys lost their two most-targeted players in the passing game. Now Witten says the Cowboys need one of their receivers to step up.
Witten made his comments during an ESPN “Monday Night Football” telecast of the Jets-Redskins preseason game on Thursday. Cowboys reporter Jon Machota transcribed the former tight end’s thoughts.
“Look, they got to have someone in this wide receiver group step up,” Witten said. “The receiving corps, they are really embracing this challenge they have by saying, OK, you think we’re a bunch of no-names, we’re going to see. But this is a tough division … It’s going to be a tough challenge for them, but they’re embracing that. They feel like making it Dak-friendly is something that’s important for them.”
The Cowboys have Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley returning. They signed Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson and acquired Tavon Austin in a trade with the Rams. Third-round draft pick Michael Gallup could also make some noise.
But if there’s one receiver who is going to step up this season for Dallas, Dak Prescott may have already hinted at the answer.
It’s safe to say Jason Witten is still loved in the city of Dallas.
The recently retired Dallas Cowboys tight end may not be playing anymore, but that hasn’t stopped the Dallas Zoo from naming a newborn giraffe after him as a tribute.
Witten took note and was quite flattered by the gesture.
Naming zoo animals after star athletes is definitely not a new thing, but it’s a sign of Witten’s importance to the Cowboys and the city of Dallas that this would happen. It’s another in a long line of tributes for an outstanding career.
Jason Witten seemed fully committed to playing for the Dallas Cowboys in 2018 before ESPN made him a broadcasting offer he couldn’t refuse, so it’s fair to wonder if the star tight end could end up having second thoughts. According to Witten, there is no chance of that happening.
In an appearance on “The Adam Schefter Podcast” this week, Witten was asked if he would consider returning to the playing field in the right situation, such as if the Cowboys were winning and needed a tight end.
“That’s kind of come and gone for me,” he said. “I did love playing, but I know how much work goes into that. That’s no disrespect to any guys who have made that transition and then gone back and had an opportunity to play.
“I’m so thankful for my journey and I know how much I poured into it as a player — how I prepared, how I trained at my age. I think for me, that’s why I took so long (to make a decision) was because I wanted to make sure I had inner peace about this decision and didn’t want to go back and forth. I’m in a great place. I think that’s unwavering.”
Witten said during his retirement press conference that his biggest regret was not winning a Super Bowl. However, he says he would never sign with a team late in the season just to fulfill that dream.
“For me, part of the joy from playing comes from the process. It’s the training camp, the meetings, the dinners,” Witten said. “So to think, ‘Hey I haven’t won a championship, I’m gonna dive back in there and go on this five-year run.’ That’s just not my style.”
Jay Cutler is the most recent example of a player who agreed to join a broadcasting team and then went back to playing, but the circumstances were much different. The comments Cutler made a few months ago reiterated that.
Witten is one of the most respected players in NFL history because he has always been 100 percent committed and never missed a day of work. We can expect the same from him as he starts his new career.