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Cowboys' Witten Reaches Multiple Career Milestones In Win Over Redskins

Jason Witten finished the game against the Redskins with 10 catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. With this performance, he met or exceeded a number of personal career marks:

His seventh TD reception of the season equals his best season total from 2007.

With three double digit reception games this season (vs. Jaguars, Saints and Redskins) he has equaled his previous career total of three games with 10-or-more receptions.

After the break, we look at how his performance over the 2010 season so far moves him up in the NFL record books.

80+ receptions: With 82 receptions so far this season, Jason Witten has recorded four consecutive seasons with at least 80 catches, making him only the second tight end in league history with four successive seasons of 80-or-more receptions. For his career, Witten now has five seasons of 80-or-more catches, tied with Tony Gonzalez on the league’s all-time best list.

Most 80+ catch seasons by a tight end
Player Total Seasons of 80+ Rec Consecutive Seasons of 80+ Rec Years
Tony Gonzalez
5 3 (1997-)
Jason Witten
5 4 (2003-)
Todd Christensen
4 4 (1979-1988)
Kellen Winslow, Sr.
3 2 (1979-1987)
Shannon Sharpe
3 2 (1990-2003)

Note that Tony Gonzalez also has three straight over the previous three years, and after 13 games this year has 62 receptions. 18 more receptions in the remaining three games and he'd tie Witten and Christensen with 4 consecutive 80+ reception seasons.

The Witten 600

In the Giants game in December 2009, Witten passed the 500-reception mark with a season best 14 catches, becoming only the sixth tight end in league history to reach 500 receptions. Witten needed just 107 games to reach that milestone, the second-fastest among the five other tight ends with at least 500 career catches: Kellen Winslow Sr. (101), Witten (107), Tony Gonzalez (118), Ozzie Newsome (120), Shannon Sharpe (131).

Yesterday, Witten recorded the 600th reception of his career (fittingly, it was the 14-yard TD catch in the second quarter), making him one of only fourth tight ends to reach the 600 mark, and the fastest of the four to reach it in 125 games: Jason Witten (125), Tony Gonzalez (134), Shannon Sharpe (155), Ozzie Newsome (160).

Mr. Reliable stays humble in assessing this achievement:

"It's humbling just because I grew up a football junkie and those are the guys you watched," Witten said. "Shannon and Gonzalez, not trying to make him look old, and even being at Tennessee I knew about Ozzie Newsome at Alabama. That's what you dream about, to be mentioned with them. It's definitely humbling and a huge honor, but there's a lot of other people that made it happen -- good quarterbacks, good offensive lines that afforded me to get out in those routes."

Coach Jason Garrett joins in the accolades and was effusive in his praise for Witten:

"He wants to be a great blocker, a great receiver, a great teammate -- he just wants to be great at it," Garrett said. "He's a great example for me as a coach, a great example to our other coaches. He's a great example to his teammates. He's a great example to everyone around the league and how to go about doing it."

Count the number of times Garrett used 'great' in the description above. Eight times. If you think this is just coincidence, then you are severely underestimating Garrett: Every single 'great' is chosen purposefully and adds up to the eight 'great' season Witten has had for the Cowboys.

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