DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jason Witten officially announced his retirement on Thursday after 15 seasons in the NFL, all spent with the Dallas Cowboys. In honor of his legendary career, the Dallas Zoo on Friday announced that it was naming their new baby giraffe after the football star.
Witten was born late last month. The male calf is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 145 pounds.
In a statement, Dallas Zoo president Gregg Hudson said, “We’re shifting from our typical tradition of naming a baby after its native heritage to honor a Texas legend and all around great guy. Our zookeepers were the first ones to jump on this naming opportunity. We’re all huge fans of Jason, he’s a real role model — on the field and in our community.”
Witten will make his public debut in the giraffe feeding yard sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Meanwhile, the former Cowboys tight end is joining ESPN as lead analyst for the network’s Monday Night Football broadcasts next season. That means, with Troy Aikman at FOX Sports and Tony Romo at CBS Sports, three of the networks that cover the NFL will feature former players who spent their entire careers with Dallas.
Last year, after Texas Rangers slugger Adrian Beltre reached his 3,000 hit milestone, the Fort Worth Zoo also honored him by naming a baby giraffe Beltre. Zoo officials said that the animal shows natural strength and athletic ability. He has been a huge hit at the zoo.