Jason Witten put in a personal appearance at a donut shop in the Metroplex recently, and the media types managed to quit ogling the cheerleaders who were with him long enough to ask him some questions about the Dallas Cowboys (Rowdy, the Dallas mascot/strange guy in costume was also there, but I doubt anyone over the age of 10 was paying him that much attention). And the man called "The Senator" had some eloquence to share.
The big topic was the old bugaboo about "leadership", or the supposed lack thereof on the Cowboys. Basically, Jason does not put much stock in this whole idea, as reported by Todd Archer out of ESPN Dallas.
"I don't want to speak for anybody but we've got plenty of leaders," Witten said after an appearance at a Southlake Dunkin Donuts. "We've been in more situations where there's been more players-only meetings and that. The bottom line is that we've got to go and play better and win ballgames and find a way to do that. I think you do that by sticking together. I think you do that when you have a strong group of six, eight, 10 guys, whatever it is. Jay Ratliff, DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, of course [Tony] Romo and you add young guys in there that are big-time players."
More from Jason after the jump.
But before I continue with what Jason had to say, I just realized I mentioned the Cheerleaders up above. So I think I do need to include a tweet from them, just in the interest of blog integrity, and to keep you up on their latest activities.
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.
Just in case some were not clear, Jason goes on to in the article to provide a specific defense of quarterback Tony Romo.
Romo's decision to sit out next month's U.S. Open local qualifier has been viewed by some as a sign of a more serious approach by the quarterback and the team.
"I don't think anybody ever doubted his dedication, but I do think there's a perception that goes along with that," Witten said. "That's never taken anything away from what he's done on the football field. He's the first one in. He's the last one to leave. He's been that way for a long time. I believe he puts us in position to be successful. He's an elite quarterback but until he wins a championship and we do that, the critics are going to come. But the best thing about him is he's so far past that that he knows he's got one goal and he's all in to do that."
He also gives a glimpse into what has been going on with the veterans.
While the offseason program officially began Monday, a majority of the players had been working out at the Cowboys' Valley Ranch facility for more than a month prior. Witten said the season-ending loss to the New York Giants has served as motivation, especially after seeing their NFC East rivals win their second Super Bowl in five years.
In their take on the same interview, Clarence Hill and Charean Williams at the Ft. Worth Star Telegram picked up on Jason's remark on the role everyone else had to play in last season.
"Bottom line is we haven't played well enough to win those games," Witten said. "We need to do that. And we have that urgency. It feels good to have that mentality where you've got to go prove it. Nobody is expecting anything. Not to make it us against the world or get anybody to feel sorry for us. But I think we believe we have the right type of guys to take that step."
He also had some observations to make on the free agents the team has picked up this offseason.
"I believe we have the right guys," Witten said. "We added some players that can help us, not only as big-time starters but guys that fill in. When you do that, and you add that with our elite players, I believe it's going to pay off for us in the end. Now, you've got to put in the work, and train and handle the adversity and the success."
Back on the topic of next season, Archer put up a separate post about the answer when he asked the Senator about the just-released NFL schedule.
(He) was asked about the Cowboys' 2012 schedule, which was released Tuesday, and the tight end had only Sept. 5 at New York Giants on his mind.
"It's hard to get past that first one, I know that," Witten said. "You look at the way the  season ended, it couldn't be a better game to get back up there quickly. There's no better way to start off than with the champs."
Since we are getting down to the last few days before the draft, John Machota at the Dallas Morning News asked him about whether the team would be looking to get a third tight end, with the departure of Martellus Bennett.
"I'm sure something's going to happen," Witten said Wednesday after an autograph signing appearance at a Southlake Dunkin' Donuts. "We're an offense that plays a lot of tight ends -- two tight end, three tight end packages. I think that we'll add someone."
In a late article, Hill and Williams got a description of the workouts that started this week.
"There is not a lot of talk," he said.
The Cowboys are head-down and focused on getting ready for the season, he said.
"Just action. We know that is what it takes," he said Wednesday at a promotional appearance at a Dunkin Donuts. "We have got to prove it. Nobody is going to give you anything. For a lot of us, we know that time is now. It's simply that you've got to put the work in and see what happens when the season gets here."
Sounds pretty good. Now, could you pick me up some chocolate glazed? All these donut references have me hungry.