Witten, who turns 36 on Sunday, follows other Cowboys players down a similar path into broadcasting. He played 15 games his rookie season, missing one game with a broken jaw, and finished with 35 catches for 347 yards.
Since we've now seen the last of him in his No. 82 jersey, we'll be without a legend with unmatched toughness.
Witten, a third-round pick out of Tennessee, is tied with defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones, safety Bill Bates and the late offensive lineman Mark Tuinei for most seasons by a Dallas player.
And, of course, there was that time he ran 30 yards, helmetless, after getting popped on a fourth-quarter play against the Eagles in 2007.
Witten will call his first Cowboys game on November 5 when Dallas hosts the Tennessee Titans at AT&T Stadium. "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".
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"I was never the most talented, never the flashiest". The franchise's all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards spoke on the difficulty of the decision to step away from the game.
"He's one of the best and most complete tight ends ever to play this game", Garrett said.
It's tough to compare Witten to anyone else who got into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, even in his own organization.
That means the Cowboys have lost their top two receivers in terms of catches last season.
"(Witten is) simply the best example of what you want a football player and person to be, on and off the field", Garrett said. "You Showed me What it Takes to Make it in this League & How to Represent the Star", Prescott wrote in his message.
While Witten's retirement was anticipated - as was his landing with ESPN - the longtime player reportedly changed his mind several times over the past week before eventually accepting the gig.