The story of how Jerry Jones and the Cowboys almost never drafted Jason Witten

Midswat

Ring of Honor
Though they remain in need of pass rushers and corners, the Cowboys may look to draft Jason Witten's heir apparent in the 2017 NFL draft. The tight end likely headed to Canton is entering the last year of his contract and his 15th season in the league, all with the Cowboys.

But Jerry Jones and crew might have been close to missing Witten.

Peter King of the MMQB and Sports Illustrated recently joined KTCK-FM (96.7) The Ticket to reminisce on the draft. His 2002 memory: The Cowboys weren't set on free safety Roy Williams.

First, the Lions tried to convince Dallas to take their third overall pick.

"It turned out Matt Millen had called Jerry Jones an hour before the draft - I'm exaggerating here, but only a little bit - begging to take [the Lions' third overall] pick," King said. "'I don't want this pick. Make me a trade for this pick.' "

The Cowboys could have snatched Longhorns corner Quentin Jammer, who went to San Diego with the fifth overall pick, with the rise.

"The Cowboys were sort of tempted by Quentin Jammer," King said. "I know that because I went on the scouting trip with them down to Austin to work out Quentin Jammer, and they loved Quentin Jammer. But they ended up taking [free safety] Roy Williams."

So where does Jason Witten factor into this?

"And the other guy, what was really interesting, is they liked [tight end Jeremy] Shockey that year," King said. "Imagine: If they take Shockey, they probably never take Witten."

Witten became the Cowboys' third-round pick out of Tennessee the following year, en route to 10 Pro Bowl honors. The always-reliable and available tight end has played in 223 games for the Cowboys, catching 1,089 passes for 63 touchdowns plus a track record of skillful blocking.

So Cowboys fans, be glad the Dallas front office stuck to Roy Williams.

Other notable quotes from King

Everything's bigger in Texas: "The sheer size of the unendingness of Texas is something you don't really realize," King said after driving from driving from Dallas to Houston for the game.

Jerry deserves it: "He may have made the NFL, more than any other owner, been the biggest factor in making the NFL a $14 billion business," King said of Jerry Jones' Hall of Fame case. "You can't uncount three Super Bowls."

On the similarity between 90s Cowboys haters and today's Patriots animosity: "The people who hate the Patriots - [Dallas] is what it reminds me of. It's more envy, and there's that added cheating tinge now, but I just think that we're watching the best team in all of sports with due respect to the San Antonio Spurs. I think the Spurs are the only thing close."
 

Midswat

Ring of Honor
I posted this without reading it first, but its a pretty useful article, which is surprising because King usually does good stuff with the Cowboys regarding our draft insights.

I thought he was going to talk about how some wanted us to take him in the 2nd but we passed and took Al Johnson and Witten just happened to fall to us in the third.
 

Sheik

All-Pro
Not going to read it, but really, does it matter?

What if they don't draft him? Does anything really change? He's part of the losing culture around the team as much as Garrett, Jerry, etc.

Don't care.
 

ThoughtExperiment

Quality Starter
Yeah, at least he was a great player for a while. I mean it's not like he was some total bust like a Claiborne.

Is funny that he could have played for the coach he later called a fag or queer or whatever it was he called Parcells that one time.

Today he'd be banished from the league forever for that.
 

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