Some days, picking a player to award the BTB Game Ball is easier than others. To be honest, there was a strong likelihood that this one was going to go to Jason Witten, because this was the game when he set the all time record for consecutive starts by a Dallas Cowboys player at 155. It was kind of in the old hip pocket in case there was not a single player that really stood out in the game against the Cleveland Browns. That many starts, in a fourteen (and counting) year career, showing up game after game at age 34 in the NFL. It was remarkable and worthy of recognition.
Then this happened.
Jason Witten with 8 catches 134 yards and a TD......still the best Tight End in the NFL.— HybridSportsTalk™ (@HybrdSportsTalk) November 6, 2016
He wasn’t just the most durable and consistent player on the field. He was the clear-cut biggest contributor, in a game that saw plenty of strong performances by the Cowboys. There is no doubt that he is the easy choice for this game ball.
It must be admitted that the Browns have struggled all season with tight ends, but at times, it looked like they decided to just ignore Witten.
But no matter how bad the coverage was against Witten today, this is really just a continuation of a trend this season. The man is playing like he’s 24, not 34. He is getting incredibly wide open (you all remember the winning touchdown against the Eagles) and he has re-discovered how to pick up yards after contact. Like this little gem.
Jason Witten with the stiff arm. https://t.co/qA2SxxuCte— B@ckTheBlue (@rgmartinez44) October 11, 2016
Witten has long been a leader on the team with his unrelenting work ethic and flawless demeanor. And it seems the success of this remarkable season has given him a direct injection from the Fountain of Youth. Maybe it’s a stretch, but he seems to have been as inspired by what is going on with this team as others have been by him. And he is not just getting a lot of deserved praise. He is handing some out.
Jason Witten on Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott: pic.twitter.com/mdrv7DchAu— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 6, 2016
That, too, is leadership, letting the young’uns know when they are doing it right.
But being a leader also means bringing it on the field, and his dominant performance, even against a clearly overmatched team, was the biggest reason for him to get this weekly award. He is playing a young man’s game with a young man’s heart, and it shows. The case for him making it into the Hall of Fame one day is just growing, and it is doubtful Jerry Jones will need any prodding at all to put his name in the Ring of Honor.
Next to those, this is a very minor bit of recognition. But it is completely sincere, and totally deserved. Well, done, Senator, well done.