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Cowboys' Next Legend Is Jason Witten

He is, simply, everything you could want as a Dallas Cowboy. And more.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

There are questions that come up for writers of our Dallas Cowboys blog that can be hard to answer. We are just now starting to analyze free agency and get ready for the NFL Draft. The past season leaves us scratching our heads about a lot of things and hoping that the team can sort them out. But every now and then, one comes up where the answer is not only blatantly obvious to us, it leaves us wondering how anyone could not see it.

That happened when we were asked to do this little promotional tie in for the upcoming CW series Legends of Tomorrow, one of that network's interrelated shows based on DC comics. (DISCLAIMER: I personally own Arrow and The Flash, the series Legends is being spun off of, on DVD, so I may be geeking out just a wee bit here.) All of the SBN NFL sites were asked to come up with the current player that will qualify as a future legend for their fans. It took absolutely no time at all to know just which Cowboy this would be about.

Jason Witten. The Senator. Jerry Jones may as well go ahead and set aside the space in the Ring of Honor, and if there is any justice, the NFL Hall of Fame will be welcoming him for his induction the first year he is eligible after he eventually retires. He has carved his place in the record books, he is one of the best all-around tight ends to ever play the game, and most importantly, he is one of the best people in every sense of the word to ever don a helmet and pads.

The numbers speak for themselves. Thirteen seasons. 207 games, including 154 consecutive starts and counting, the most ever by a tight end. 1,020 catches on 1,180 targets. 11,215 yards. 60 touchdowns. All numbers that are just expected to increase as he continues to play at a high level, holding off a seemingly endless string of younger, often more-talented challengers in Dallas. Since Tony Romo became the starter, Witten has been his security blanket, the player Romo looks for first when he absolutely has to get a completion. He puts as much work into his skills blocking as he does catching the ball, something that the current crop of star tight ends in the league are not nearly as accomplished at. His speed, if you can call it that, is far from impressive, but there are few that have ever played the game that are better at getting open. And he also is reputed to be one of the most underrated trash talkers out there. In the locker room, he is an unquestioned leader whom no one disregards.

But above and beyond all that, he is an exemplar off the field. He has dedicated himself to working against domestic violence, a true problem for the NFL, through his SCORE foundation, and he also seeks to improve education in both Texas and his home state of Tennessee. He is a devoted husband and father, and his wife is an emergency room nurse at Parkland Hospital, making service to others a real family effort for the Wittens.

He isn't just a legend of the future. For many fans, myself included, he is already one. And it is appropriate that he be honored in a post sponsored by a television show about superheroes, because he also has his own superhero moment preserved on video.

It will be a sad day for the Cowboys when he finally hangs up the cleats for good. It has been a real treat to see him play, and it is a true pleasure to give him his due praise while he is still a key part of his team.

DC's Legends of Tomorrow, Series Premiere Thursday Jan. 21 at 8/7c on The CW. Check out the trailer here:> #DCLegends

Follow me @TomRyleBTB

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