When New York Giants fans hear the name Jason Witten, they cringe. The future Hall of Famer has made a career out of defying the odds by getting open, making first downs and scoring touchdowns. Especially against the Giants.
The 37-year-old Witten has caught 1,178 passes in his career, which places him fourth in NFL history in that category behind Jerry Rice, Larry Fitzgerald and Tony Gonzalez. 157 of those receptions have come against the Giants, the most Witten has caught against a single opponent. He is about to add to that total on Monday night.
Giant fans may shake their heads when they think about Witten, but for young tight ends such as the Evan Engram, a highlight reel of Witten serves as the ‘how-to’ guide on playing tight end.
“You have those pioneers who changed the way the game is played,” Engram told The Post. “I have to be appreciative because now the tight end position is looked at as a weapon, as a mismatch.”
Engram remembers joining the Giants as a rookie in 2017 and getting a laptop with cut-up film highlights of Witten. He watched video of Witten’s retirement press conference after that season and remembers Cowboys coach Jason Garrett gushing over a memory of Witten making a big play in a playoff game, getting up off the ground and pointing out his 10 teammates who all did their jobs to make it possible.
Witten is slowing down a bit and is not the staple in the Cowboys’ offense he once was before his took a sabbatical to become a television analyst. He did, however, have three catches for 15 yards and a touchdown in his first game back this season against — you guessed it — the Giants.