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Longtime Cowboys TE Jason Witten open to playing elsewhere in 2020

Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) has the fourth-most catches in NFL history. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) has the fourth-most catches in NFL history. File Photo by Ian Halperin/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- Veteran tight end Jason Witten wants to play again in 2020, even if it isn't for the Dallas Cowboys.

"I just think, yeah, coaching is in my future, but right now, I want to play while I can," Witten told reporters while presenting the Collegiate Man of the Year award Tuesday in Frisco, Texas. "We'll see where that takes place. Of course, I want that to be with the Dallas Cowboys.

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"I'll always be a Dallas Cowboy. But I also understand that, with all the changes, I may have to go somewhere else."

Witten, 37, had 63 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns in 16 starts for the Cowboys in 2019 after coming out of retirement. He retired after the 2017 season and became a Monday Night Football announcer for ESPN. Witten announced he was leaving the broadcast booth and coming out of retirement in February 2019.

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The 11-time Pro Bowl selection said playing elsewhere isn't "ideal," but he might not be in control of determining his next team. He also said he has met with new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy and is in "constant communication" with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Cowboys executive vice president and CEO Stephen Jones.

Witten said he would target a team that wants to win and where he could contribute if he doesn't return to the Cowboys.

He said he hopes to talk to the Cowboys' front office soon after the NFL scouting combine and before the NFL's free agency period. The 2020 NFL scouting combine is from Sunday through March 2. Free agency begins March 18.

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"I'm confident, one way or another, it will get resolved," Witten said.

Witten signed a one-year, $2 million contract in March. The two-time All-Pro and 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award winner is the Cowboys' franchise leader with 1,215 catches, 12,977 yards and 72 touchdowns. Witten ranks fourth all-time in receptions, 19th all-time in yards, and is tied for 40th all-time in receiving scores.

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