Witten met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday to discuss his dilemma. How quickly things can change.
On Friday reports surfaced that the 15-year tight end has chose to retire and go to ESPN's "Monday Night Football" booth to be the new color analyst, filling Jon Gruden's vacancy and beginning his second career just as his first comes to an end.
Neither Witten, ESPN nor the Cowboys has publicly responded to reports of his impending retirement.
The 35-year old Witten is entering his 16th National Football League season and, as of a couple weeks ago, seemed to have every intention of playing out the year and possibly more.
The presence of the phrase "a lead analyst" in the de facto announcement suggests that there could be another analyst in the booth, making it potentially a three-person operation. "He has not made any decisions that are definite at this time". Those players being South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert, Penn State's Mike Gesicki, Oklahoma's Mark Andrews and Indiana's Ian Thomas. The new receiving leader for tight ends, Swaim, is regarded as a blocking tight end and won't be expected to replace Witten.
Witten turns 36 on May 6.
Jones seems to think that he's done his part in telling Witten he wants him back with the team, but that now it's all up to the tight end to make his decision.
The news could definitely affect the direction the Dallas Cowboys look to go in with the second day of the NFL Draft starting Friday evening. Recently the Cowboys cut longtime star receiver Dez Bryant.
And the cupboard is almost empty at tight end.
Witten is also the Cowboys franchise leader in receiving yards with 12,448, leaving him second only to Tony Gonzalez amongst tight ends.
"There's been a lot of things [said] over the years, especially the last few months". After averaging 11 yards-per-catch for most of his career, Witten has averaged under 10 yards-a-catch the last three seasons - including a career-low 8.9 in 2017.
Witten was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft after a college career at Tennessee.