DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Future Hall of Famer Jason Witten is coming out of retirement.

“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong,” Witten said in a statement. “This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it. I’m looking forward to getting back in the dirt.”

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Witten retired from the NFL last May after 15 years with the Cowboys.

Witten joined the broadcast booth of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, where the broadcast team received lukewarm reviews throughout the season.

ESPN gave a statement on Witten returning to football that read:

“We thank Jason for his many contributions to Monday Night Football and to ESPN over the past year and wish him continued success. We have seen many former coaches and players go into broadcasting before eventually returning to the game they love, so we understand Jason’s desire to return to the Dallas Cowboys. In the coming weeks we will determine our MNF plans for the 2019 season.”

He will return to the field and officially sign a contract with the team, according to the Cowboys, who retained his rights when he was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/Retired list.

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ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the Cowboys will be giving Witten a one-year, $3.5 million contract.

Witten will rejoin the Cowboys after the team went 10-6 last season and lost in the NFC Divisional round of the playoffs to the Los Angeles Rams.

Witten joins a young tight end core that includes Blake Jarwin, who turned heads late into the season, and Dalton Schultz.

The veteran tight end currently ranks fourth in NFL history in career receptions with 1,152.


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