Sean Lee and Jason Witten were among the starters who would not have seen any action in the Cowboys’ fifth and final preseason game Thursday night. But the Pro Bowlers agreed with the decision to cancel the game so the Texans could return home to Houston.
“I think there’s more important things than football right now,” Lee said. “Houston being able to get home and see their families is a big deal. To me, we’ve played in a bunch of preseason games, and right now I’m excited for them that they can get home. They’ve been gone for awhile. We got to talk to a couple of their guys and they’ve been away in training camp. They were in New Orleans for a little while so to be able to see cheap nfl jerseys their families, that’s something that is more important.”
The Cowboys have had a long preseason already, having played in the Hall of Fame Game. But their thoughts, prayers and concern was with the Texans on Wednesday as the Texans traveled back to Houston.
“I know they are probably anxious to get home and see their families and just assess the situation,” Witten said. “I said it a couple of days ago, but this is bigger than football. These guys have a great opportunity and platform to go back to the city and check on their own families and get involved in the community and rally in a lot of ways. I support that decision. They’ve got a lot of work to do moving forward.”
The Cowboys made Houston a centerpiece of their annual team luncheon Wednesday, holding a moment of silence for the victims and raising money for hurricane relief. Witten was auctioning off his personal suite at AT&T Stadium with seating for 12 to benefit his SCORE Foundation’s support of the Houston Area Women’s Center before the cancellation.
“We’ve been involved in [hurricane relief] a lot,” Witten said. “Our foundation is going to continue to support them and get that money to them. Those are the ones you feel need it, and we’ll continue to do work with them and see that they need it. It was just a opportunity you had when this game was [moved] here. So many guys are doing so much work, not only Houston, but teammates in Dallas. We have a platform and understand we’ve got an opportunity to make a difference.
“I’m just overwhelmed by our state. Every time I turn on the TV and see it, it really is, it’s just overwhelming to me to see the work that’s gone in [to recovery efforts]. Certainly Texas proud and Texas strong.”
Dallas Cowboys veteran tight end Jason Witten could jump to No. 4 on the NFL’s all-time receptions leaderboard this upcoming season, needing just 60 catches to pass Marvin Harrison (1,102), per USA Today.
On the way to fourth, Witten would also surpass Tim Brown (1,094) and Cris Carter (1,101). Catching 60 passes is a realistic output for the 35-year-old, who has averaged 70 catches over the past three seasons.
Witten’s effectiveness with each catch has dipped in recent seasons, averaging under 10 yards per reception in each of the past two seasons. But with the safe assumption that he stays healthy, he should again be in line for about 90 targets during 2017 (he’s averaged 96.3 the last three years). He’s almost unbelievably missed just one game (in his 2003 rookie campaign) over his 14-year career.
The tight end also has the opportunity this season to jump into the top 25 in career receiving yards. Over the past three years, he’s averaged 696.3 yards. If Witten notches at least that this season, he’ll reach 12,584 for his career, which could put him at No. 21. That ranking could be somewhat fluid, however, as New York Giants receiver Brandon Marshall is tied for 24th with 12,061 yards.
Witten has a strong resume for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, regardless of this season’s outcome. In addition to his incredible health, he’s made 10 Pro Bowls as well as two All-Pro teams. The Tennessee product will attempt to add to his collection of accolades with another impressive campaign in 2017.