Dallas Cowboys: Kellen Winslow

Jason Witten hopes to speak with Ozzie Newsome

October, 12, 2012
IRVING, Texas – Last season Jason Witten surpassed Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome for third place for catches among tight ends in NFL history. This year he moved passed Newsome in receiving yards.

On Sunday in Baltimore, Witten and Newsome will be in the same stadium and Witten hopes to speak in person for the first time with the Ravens general manager.

“Obviously I know what kind of player he was and everybody has told me about him back when he was in college at Alabama,” Witten said. “That probably, in all of these (honors), is the most humbling thing because I think he was probably the biggest staple of a tight end really from that era that we know of. To be able to pass a guy like that, that was probably one of the most special things for me as an individual player.”

Only Tony Gonzalez and Shannon Sharpe have more catches and yards as tight ends in NFL history than Witten, but the Cowboys’ seven-time Pro Bowler believes Newsome deserves credit for how tight ends play today.

“There’s no question really when you think this about this position now really for the last decade or really six or seven years, it’s taken back off,” Witten said. “Obviously Tony Gonzalez has been doing it, but those guys doing it, (Newsome) and (Kellen) Winslow Sr., those guys, really every opportunity we have now is from what they did.”

Todd Archer's practice observations

August, 4, 2011
** Allowed to practice for the first time during camp with the CBA settled, CB Bryan McCann returned punts and kickoffs. Still no sign of Dez Bryant on the punt return team. He could be just a situational guy on punt returns.

** Before the workout, TE Martellus Bennett practiced catching passes with one hand. The other day he mentioned how Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow does the same.

** The defense worked on defending Hail Mary plays during its teaching period. Interesting to see LBs DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer double-team a receiver at the line to delay the takeoff before they went to rush the passer.

** The first-team offense ended a two-minute drill without a touchdown when a blitz forced QB Tony Romo to throw the ball earlier than he wanted to WR Dez Bryant. Earlier in the drive, Bryant cut inside and failed to get out of bounds, which kept the clock running. As the play unfolded, Romo yelled to get out of bounds.

** DE Igor Olshansky had a tackle for loss on Lonyae Miller during the inside run portion of practice. With the additions of Marcus Spears, Kenyon Coleman and Jason Hatcher, Olshansky will have to make more plays like that.

** Romo’s prettiest throw of the day was on a comeback to the wide side of the field to Bryant that was just over the fingertips of Ware. He also had a nice check-off to Miles Austin in the slot when the receiver was able to slide away from CB Orlando Scandrick.

** The No. 1 offense had a bad stretch during a portion of team drills when three plays went like this: Victor Butler sack, mix-up with WR Kevin Ogletree and a dropped deep ball by Jesse Holley, who was practicing for the first time in camp, as well.

** Coleman showed some rust with an offside penalty, but he also showed some force when he shoved OT Sam Young to the ground on a pass rush move that forced an early Jon Kitna throw.

** S Collin Zych forced a fumble on Bennett, knocking the ball free just as Bennett started to turn up field. S Andrew Sendejo picked up the recovery.

** Kickers David Buehler and Dan Bailey made their “mayday” field goals from 44 and 51 yards, respectively, as the coaches put the players through end-of-game situations.

**S Danny McCray had a nice breakup of a pass in the end zone to Jason Witten in the two-minute drill. McCray worked on the first-team dime package.

Best bargain contracts: Witten, Ratliff

May, 27, 2010
On Wednesday, we told you about the two worst contracts on the Cowboys' roster, based on the amount of money paid and lack production produced: WR Roy Williams and RB Marion Barber.

There is a hope, at least from the organization, each player will perform better in 2010.

Today, we look at the two bargain contracts on the Cowboys' payroll.

Tight end Jason Witten and nose tackle Jay Ratliff are outperforming their contracts.

Witten signed a six-year, $29 million deal in 2006. He’s signed though 2012. His base salary for this season is $2.641 million.

So what has Witten done since signing that contract?

He was named to four consecutive Pro Bowls and six overall. In 100 career games, Witten has 457 catches. Only Kellen Winslow Sr. has more catches over 100 games with 497. And Winslow's son, Kellen Winslow Jr. has the biggest contract for an NFL tight end -- a six-year, $36.1 million deal signed after his trade from Cleveland to Tampa was completed last season. In 2007, Witten's 96 catches were the third-best single-season total for a tight end in NFL history. Tony Gonzalez, a sure Hall of Famer, has the top two marks with 102 and 99 catches. At some point, you would think the man could get his contract redone again.

Ratliff signed a five-year deal worth $20.5 million, which includes $8 million in bonuses.

After signing that deal in December 2007, Ratliff has become just as valuable as outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware. Ratliff is a two-time Pro Bowl selection and was named to the All Pro team for the first time in his career in 2009. In 2008, he led the team with 31 quarterback pressures from the nose tackle position. Last year, he forced two fumbles and had 40 tackles.

There is a thought, the Cowboys might rip up Ratliff's deal. He's signed through 2012 and will get a base salary of $2.105 million this year.

If you don't believe in Ratliff, these are his numbers from the two postseason games: five tackles, four QB pressures, one sack.