Jason Witten Should Be First Ballot Hall of Famer
No that it is official and Jason Witten announced his retirement from the NFL today, his next stop will be the broadcast booth and ESPN's Monday Night Football. However, after 15 years in the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, Witten leaves the game holding many of the team's career records and is destined for Canton, Ohio and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The question is not whether the tight end will be wearing the gold jacket but when.
Strictly by his numbers, Witten is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He trails only Tony Gonzalez for most career receptions and yards by a tight end, and he was one of the best blockers to ever play the position. Unfortunately, Witten never played in a Super Bowl, but he still had 11 pro bowl appearances and a pair of first team all pro honors. Most of the numbers would scream first ballot, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame is not as easy as it sounds.
Shannon Sharpe, who finished his playing career in 2003 needed to wait until 2011 to get his gold jacket. So many other great football players who dominated the game also waited a few years before they received the call to the Hall. I hope Witten gets a chance to break the trend, but we will not know the answer to that question for at least another five years.