Witten garners spot on ESPN All-Rookie team

from staff reports
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten enjoyed a nice rookie season. His work hasn't gone unnoticed.
This past week, Witten, the former Elizabethton High and University of Tennessee standout, was selected to ESPN's NFL All-Rookie team.
Witten, who finished the season with 35 receptions for 347 yards and one touchdown, earned the honor by holding off stiff competition from Philadelphia's L.J. Smith and Indianapolis' Dallas Clark.
A third-round draft choice, Witten led all rookie tight ends in catches, and finished fourth overall among all rookie wide receivers.
Overcoming a broken jaw that forced him to miss one game, Witten came on strong down the stretch, making 28 of his catches -- including eight of 12 yards or more -- the final eight games of the season.
"It was a little tough at first -- just being new to everything," Witten told dallascowboys.com. "It took a while to adjust to the speed of the game. But I have to just adjust on the run while I'm in the game. You don't have two or three games to get ready. You have to do it right away. And I think I did that."
Dallas' promising pass-catcher finished with the most receptions by a Cowboys tight end since Jackie Harris made 39 grabs in 2000.
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells, giving dallascowboys.com his assessment of Witten, said: "I think he's got a good future. Certainly, there will be an intention to expand his role next year, without question. You can do a lot with him. He's pretty versatile."
Witten's best two games came back-to-back as he totaled a team-high six receptions for 49 yards in Dallas' 24-20 Week 12 victory over Carolina, then led the club with eight catches (58 yards) in the Cowboys' 40-21 Thanksgiving Day loss to Miami.
His touchdown was a 36-yarder in a 19-3 Dallas win over the New York Giants in the next-to-last game of the season. He then finished off the regular campaign with a solid 5-catch, 45-yard output at New Orleans.
The 21-year-old Witten was joined on the All-Rookie team by teammate Terence Newman, a cornerback.