ARLINGTON, Tex. — Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten surpassed Hall-of-Fame receiver Michael Irvin for top spot on the all-time career receiving yards list Sunday night against the New York Giants in a 19-3 victory.
The 15-year veteran caught an 11-yard pass from quarterback Dak Prescott on a second-and-26 from the New York 26-yard line on the third play in the second quarter. The 10-time Pro Bowler finished the game with seven catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, and 11,947 yards.
“With this organization, to set that record and pass Michael, I just have so much respect for the great players that have played for this organization,” Witten said. “I said it earlier in the week – Mike was somebody that I remember watching and admiring the way he played and when I got here I found out that he set the tone in many ways in practice and the off-season and as he played in games, and it’s certainly what I’ve tried to do.”
Head coach Jason Garrett, who played with Irvin from 1993-99 as a backup quarterback and also coached Witten as an offensive coordinator from 2007-10 before taking over as head coach, says Witten is, “a special guy.”
Said Garrett: “There’s a lot of records he’s broken throughout his career. He’s among the best players at his position to ever play. We’re just so fortunate to have him on our football team. The example he sets each and every one of us each and every day is just remarkable.” I say this in all sincerity—he’s getting better and better. He plays at such a high level, he keeps his body right, he’s got such a spirit and a hunger to be a great football player. It shows up in his work each and every day and it certainly showed up tonight.
Prescott has often remarked Witten is a role model of his both on and off the field, and his appreciation for the 2003 third-round pick from Tennessee’s accomplishment was not lost.
“I have so much admiration for that guy and everything he does on and off the field,” said Prescott. “Being able to help him break that record and being a part of that, that was special.”
The 35-year-old, who also ties Jim Jeffcoat, Bill Bates, and Ed Jones for the most years of service with the Cowboys at 15, acknowledges his teammates past and present for helping him pass Irvin.
“There have been so many great teammates and coaches along the way that helped me get here,” said Witten. “I’ll remember this night for a long time and really I’m honored to think about the great teammates that have helped because you know you don’t do something like this on your own.”