The theme of the Dallas Cowboys off-season has been timing, or the lack of it. Wide receiver Dez Bryant was released two weeks ago in a move that most saw coming at some point, but still wound up being badly timed.
In a move that both overshadowed the NFL Draft at AT & T Stadium and threw a curve ball into the Cowboys draft plans, Jason Witten announced his retirement and plans to join the Monday Night Football team as an analyst.
Jason Witten is planning to retire after 15 years to join ESPN's new Monday Night Football broadcast team as a lead analyst but will meet today with owner Jerry Jones before making his decision final, per sources.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) April 27, 2018
Jason Witten is Dallas Cowboys through and through, the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and has more than earned the right to call it a career whenever he sees fit. That said, I still have to question the timing of all of this even if he decides to come back and play.
Speaking of timing, notice the time that Chris Mortensen broke the news of Witten’s announcement, 12:13 PM.
Four hours and change later, more legendary night tight end news broke.
While TE Jason Witten is preparing to retire, TE Antonio Gates wants to continue playing, though the Charges informed him this off-season they do not plan to bring him back to LA, per league source.
It means one of top all-time TEs is now willing to finish his career elsewhere.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 27, 2018
So to me the next logical step for the Cowboys to make (since they didn’t change course and draft a TE as of yet) would be for them to reach out to Antonio Gates.
Gates is 30th all-time in receiving yards with 11,508, only 940 behind Witten, 20th on the career receptions list with 927 and 6th with 114 touchdown receptions.
Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has covered the Cowboys for more than two decades and seen everything there is to see. I asked him straight up on Twitter if the Cowboys had reached out to Gates.
— Clarence Hill Jr (@clarencehilljr) April 28, 2018
Maybe they have some other plans up their sleeves, but this doesn’t make sense. Adam Schefter broke the Gates news at 4:45 PM, Dallas should have been in contact with Gates’ agent at 4:30 if you ask me.
Gates wouldn’t be a long term solution for the Cowboys needs at tight end but you can’t tell me he couldn’t come in, provide veteran leadership, be Dak Prescott’s security blanket, put up numbers and help Dallas win games. Only thing to do now is sit back and see what the Cowboys do.
Time will tell.