In the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge was haunted by “The Ghost of Christmas Past.”
That was a work of fiction.
However, the tight ends for the Dallas Cowboys being haunted by the ghost of Jason Witten is all too real.
Even though the future Hall of Famer is not physically in Oxnard, in the players’ minds, he is.
“I had that experience when I was a rookie playing in San Diego,” says tight end Geoff Swaim. “It was my very first preseason game and I caught a couple of balls back-to-back on a couple of passes and came out of the game and I was on my knees on the sidelines and Witten came up to me and said, ‘Go get back in.’ You know, and I didn’t know what it meant and I was like, ‘Oh, okay,’ and I ran back in there and played. But, you figure out what it means, you know?”
And with injury comes opportunity, but so does retirement to the Monday Night Football booth.
“It’s a lifetime opportunity,” says tight end Blake Jarwin. “A once in a lifetime deal. You grow up and he’s been the tight end for the Cowboys for 15 years and to see that spot open up like that. It’s a massive hole in the offense and a void. We’ve got the opportunity to fill that void.”
All of the Dallas tight ends think God is watching them from up above. But, they also feel like Witten is keeping an eye on them, as well.
“And I bet he still is watching,” says tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier. “He’s watching from somewhere, I know he is. I’ll probably get a phone call, they’ll probably get a phone call.”
Well, it sounds like the phones will be ringing a lot for the tight ends next week when Dallas takes on the San Francisco 49ers at Levis Stadium in their first preseason game of 2018.