Jason Witten shockingly, and perhaps mercifully, retired from broadcasting on Thursday to un-retire from football. After a year away, the future Hall of Fame tight end announced that at the age of 37 he will return to the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 for a 16th NFL season.
Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine I asked a smattering of draft prospects to grade Witten’s decision using our classic “Kudos & Wet Willies” format.
Every prospect I asked gave Witten “Kudos” for his comeback. After, of course, I explained to them what “Kudos & Wet Willies” were all about.
Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple
“I give that a Kudos. I know he still has more left in the tank. Hall of Famer. I’m glad we get to spend a couple more years watching him.”
Qadree Ollison, RB, Pitt
“I give it a Kudos.
“I think somebody who is one of the greatest tight ends to play the game probably wants to win a Super Bowl, wants to compete for a Super Bowl. He didn’t have to come back, I definitely give him Kudos for that. Still having that drive for the game, you know that he loves it. He’s made enough money, he’s had enough accolades, he’s a Hall of Famer already. There’s nothing that he has to do.”
Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise State
“I say Kudos. I mean, you see it happening now. Guys are retiring and coming back and playing a coupler more years. It’s hard. I would imagine being in his position it’s hard to walk away from the game and whatever his decision was or whatever tied into his decision was I respect him for it and would say Kudos to him.
“I bet it takes a lot more work being on the upper end of the age scale but that guy’s a legend and I know he’ll get it done.”
Tyler Jones, OL, N.C. State
“Can I do both? I’m gonna just go in the middle.
“What was he retired for a year, maybe? I feel like he just got bored, that’s all it is. His body has given him 16 years of a great body of work. Maybe he just misses it too much to walk away from it.”
Joshua Miles, OL, Morgan State
“That’s a Kudos, man. It’s always exciting seeing a guy come out of retirement. Plus, Jason Witten, he’s one of the greatest tight ends of all time. I wonder what he has left in the tank. I’m sure he’s still got a lot of athleticism, years left to play. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do next season.”
Jackson Barton, OL, Utah
“That’s Kudos. That’s unheard of. More power to him. He love the game, he’s very passionate about it. If he wants to come back, if he misses it, it’s hard to step away. I give a Kudos to him.”