In addition to weighing an offer from ESPN's Monday Night Football, another network made an "interesting" last minute proposal to the soon-to-be 36-year-old, ESPN announced, without divulging the name of the other network.
By choosing the broadcast booth as his new arena, Witten follows in the footsteps of his former quarterback Tony Romo, who is an analyst for CBS Sports.
The Dallas Morning News cited two sources in reporting that the Monday Night Football offer from ESPN would pay Witten between $4 million and $4.5 million annually. By comparison, Witten would have earned a base salary of $1.05 million and up to $750,000 in per-game roster bonuses with the Cowboys this season.
Had Witten returned for a 16th season, he would have been the longest-tenured player in franchise history. As it stands, Witten is the franchise leader in games played (239), receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448). He is third in receiving touchdowns (68) and tied with Hall of Famer Bob Lilly for the franchise mark with 11 Pro Bowl selections.
In addition, Witten is second behind Gonzalez in career receiving yards and Pro Bowl appearances by a tight end.
Witten's 68 career receiving touchdowns rank third in Dallas history and fifth among tight ends in NFL history.
Witten, who was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2007 and 2010, joined the Cowboys as a third-round draft pick out of Tennessee in the 2003.
The Cowboys prepared for the decision by selecting Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. With Witten now retiredm the Cowboys have Schultz, Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin and Rico Gathers on the depth chart at tight end.
Witten's return to AT&T Stadium in his new role is set for Nov. 5, when the Cowboys host the Tennessee Titans.