Through his own charitable foundation, Jason Witten's SCORE Foundation, Witten has launched numerous outreach programs and funded several new building projects in Texas and his native Tennessee.
The surefire first-ballot Hall-of-Famer finishes his career as the Cowboys' all-time leader in receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448). He has Hall of Fame credentials, and Jones has said he is one of the five best people he has known in almost 30 years in the National Football League, which makes him a virtual lock for the team's prestigious Ring of Honor. I don't think you ever really - that's never something you're okay with. I relied on grit.
"Better three hours too soon than a minute too late", he added.
Had Witten returned for a 16th season, he would have been the longest-tenured player in franchise history.
Witten wrestled with the decision for the past week, alternating nearly hourly between taking the job and playing a record 16th season for the Cowboys, sources said.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett also had some high praise for the veteran.
When the season ended, Witten vowed to return for another season because "I love this game too much".
He missed one game as a rookie after suffering a fractured jaw. He ran without his helmet against Philadelphia in 2007 in what is the signature moment of his career. But the team's record was a combined 125-115 over his 15-year career that saw only six playoff appearances.More news: Rangers fans react on Twitter to managerial talk - 'I'm excited'
"Jerry you have been a father figure to me for most of my life", Witten said to Jones. "I told you back in 2006 that I would not let you down". He reportedly will take Jon Gruden's vacant seat on ESPN's MNF broadcasts.Is Dallas Goedert of Eagles the next Jason Witten?In 30 career games against the Giants, Witten had 154 catches for 1,568 yards and 15 touchdowns.
It has been a time of change in Dallas.
Witten will now become the third former Cowboys player to work as a lead network broadcast analyst, joining former QBS Troy Aikman (Fox) and Tony Romo (CBS). The team released wide receiver Dez Bryant after eight years, and he has not found a new team yet. Still on the team are Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley.
Witten will have a chance to cover one game involving his former team this upcoming season, with Dallas scheduled to host a Monday Night Football game against the Tennessee Titans on November 5.
"It's very hard. I think that's the biggest challenge walking away is that you didn't accomplish the ultimate goal that you set out for", Romo told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram last week. "The last few days have been challenging for me".
"You've left here with such a legacy". "I was certain when I went through it that I wanted the blessing of Jerry and his family, an opportunity I have to stay around the game".