Jason Witten finished his 14th NFL season with Sunday's 34-31 Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers. Despite coming off the least-productive regular season since his rookie campaign, Witten hasn't contemplated hanging up his cleats.
"I haven't really thought about it," Witten said when asked if he'd return for a 15th season, via the Dallas Morning News. "Every year when I'm empty at this point, it's just you gave everything you got, and I'll take time to reflect on it. I love this team and this group of guys and so, yeah, that will be the plan for sure."
Witten caught his first postseason touchdown in eight career playoff games on Sunday. His 230 games played (including playoffs) before scoring a postseason TD were the most by any player since 1970, per NFL Research.
Witten corralled six receptions for 59 yards and one TD in Sunday's crushing loss. The defeat kept the veteran from reaching his first career NFC Championship game, which a reporter pointed out after the contest.
"Yeah, I'm well aware of that," Witten said. "Obviously that's something I realize, regardless of how many catches you have or any of that stuff, your legacy will be remembered as how you play in these certain situations in the playoffs, and that's tough.
"It's tough for me to swallow that. It's not about any one individual. I'm proud of this team. I really have my whole career I've tried to work really hard to not make it about me, and that's why there's emotion that goes along with this.
"I'm in my 14th year, and you know there's a shelf life for everybody. You put everything you have into it, and when you come up short it's tough. It's not about a paycheck. It's about an opportunity to compete and lead and win and play in these types of games. This team had a special feel all the way through, and to come up short like that for me is hard."
Witten put up 673 receiving yards this season, the fewest since his rookie year, but remains a valuable security blanket for Dak Prescott. With Witten's BFF Tony Romo likely leaving this offseason, the tight end returning for his 15th season will ensure the offense keeps one of its leaders as the Cowboys attempt to get over the playoff hurdle next year.