Monday night when Romo was feeling the pass rush and had to get rid of the ball, as he has done countless times before, he turned to his reliable tight end Jason Witten as the safety valve. But this time as Witten caught the ball, he was hit immediately by Raider linebacker Rolando McClain. It was the kind of hit that made sports announcers and certainly Cowboy fans gasp at the sight of Witten taking such a vicious hit.
After the game Witten was interviewed and asked if he was OK? He said he was fine and just had the breath knocked out of him. A big sigh of relief for Cowboy fans who know how valuable Witten is to the offense. However after farther review, it was announced later that he actually had lacerated his spleen which means the Cowboys will be without their star TE for the rest of the preseason. OK that’s the preseason, but what fans really want to know is will Jason be ready to play against the Giants on September 5, their first game of the year?
I’m sure many were surprised to see Witten pop right up and jog off to the sideline after receiving such a hit but for those who have followed Jason’s career, you weren’t surprised at all. Jason Witten has displayed determination and grit throughout his football career.
Jason was a third round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2003, and immediately showed that he could play through pain and injury. In his rookie season he broke his jaw and had to have plates implanted to fix it. During that major injury, remarkably Witten only missed one game.
Heck, Jason is so tough that he actually can play without a helmet. In a game against the Eagles in November 2007, after having his helmet completely pulled off, Jason continued running down the field 53 yards until he was tackled. VIDEO (Leave it those dirty bird Eagles to tackle a player that does not have his helmet on.)
In a Monday Night game against the Eagles the very next year, Witten injured his shoulder and once X-rays revealed it wasn’t broken, he came back in the game making a big catch to set up the game winning TD to defeat their NFC East rival.
Now and in the past, when asked about his injuries Witten tends to down play them and use his common line, “I’m fine” just like he did Monday night during the interview. Jason’s wife, Michelle, is a former emergency room nurse so Jason would just point out, “She’s seen a lot worse than a sprained shoulder”. His teammates have noticed how tough he is with T.O once saying, “Witt is going to be a tough guy,” “He’s going to play through whatever he has to play through to get the job done.” Yep T.O. that pretty well sums it up.
Make no mistake that the doctors will be the ones to determine if Jason can play in the Giants game and they are going to be more concerned with his health than if the Cowboys can beat the Giants without him or not. But if that decision were up to Jason, you know he would put his hat on, buckle up that chin strap, and ride into battle with his teammates. That’s one tough Cowboy there.