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QB: Witten may be best Cowboy ever

The Dallas Cowboys have put 12 players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but one of their active players might be the best in franchise history, according to quarterback Tony Romo.

Romo, in a conference call with the Seattle-area media Wednesday, said tight end Jason Witten might belong at the top of the list of greatest players to wear a Cowboys uniform.

"He might be the best Dallas Cowboy of all time," Romo said of Witten. "Literally, his career has been exceptional. He's hit every mark you could ever have, and he's going to go down as the first- or second-greatest tight end of all time. I've just been lucky enough to play with him."

Romo made similar comments to ESPN's Jeremy Schaap for an upcoming E:60 episode about Witten.

"I don't know that he'll ever get his full credit unless we win a championship. He's already a Hall of Fame player. When you win with what he's done, it kind of puts you in a very, very exclusive small club," Romo told Schaap. "I think he's already in it for tight ends. We've had some incredible ones with the Dallas Cowboys, and I'm not so sure that Jason Witten might not be the best Dallas Cowboy of all time."

He added: "I think Jason Witten is in the discussion for best Cowboy of all time, and there are some great ones."

But Witten was not so quick to anoint himself one of the greatest Cowboys.

"I mean definitely humbled by him saying that being mentioned with some of those guys that make this organization the best in the world, but I got a long way to go to catch those guys," Witten said Thursday. "I think that just shows the relationship we have and a lot of respect. You do something with somebody for so long you're pulling for him and want to see him do well. That's the relationship we have. But there's been some great ones and I know I got a long way to go even to be mentioned with those guys."

Among the greatest Cowboys ever, Witten listed Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Bob Lilly and Michael Irvin.

Witten became the third tight end in NFL history to surpass 10,000 receiving yards in the Cowboys' victory over the Texans last Sunday, joining Tony Gonzalez (15,127) and Shannon Sharpe (10,060).

Witten, whose career yardage total stands at 10,014, is the Cowboys' all-time leader in receptions with 898. Only former Cowboys wide receiver Irvin, one of those 12 Hall of Fame players, has more receiving yards (11,904)

He and Romo both came into the league with the Cowboys in 2003.

In all, the Cowboys have 14 members of the organization enshrined in Canton, including coach Tom Landry (inducted in 1990) and general manager Tex Schramm (1991). The 12 players are: defensive tackle Lilly (1980), quarterback Staubach (1985), running back Tony Dorsett (1994), defensive tackle Randy White (1994), defensive back Mel Renfro (1996), quarterback Aikman (2006), offensive tackle Rayfield Wright (2006), Irvin (2007), wide receiver Bob Hayes (2009), running back Smith (2010), cornerback Deion Sanders (2011) and offensive lineman Larry Allen (2013)

All of these men won at least one Super Bowl title with the Cowboys, something that Witten and Romo have yet to achieve.

Information from ESPN.com's Todd Archer contributed to this report.