Witten Added in the 3rd Round

The Cowboys were fortunate enough to add the services of one of the top tight ends available Saturday. Jason Witten was selected in the 3rd round to wrap up the Cowboys first day of the 2003 NFL Draft.

TE Jason Witten
6-6, 252, 4.6
University of Tennessee

Background: Formerly a nasty defensive lineman, Jason Witten has taken his skills, attitude and intellect to the offensive side of the ball and is devastating the competition as both a blocker or pass catcher.

Blessed with 4.6 speed, superior size and surprisingly soft hands, this young man has All-America as he enters his junior season. Made vast strides during his sophomore season, emerging as one of Tennessee' s most reliable blockers and pass receivers. 2001 - Caught 28 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns, then capped his season with a team-high 125 receiving yards in UT's 45-17 Citrus Bowl drubbing of Michigan. Included among his six catches that day was a 64-yard TD reception. Also had a team-high 91 receiving yards (on seven grabs) in Tennessee's win over Alabama. 2000 - Switched from defensive end to tight end in preseason following injury to projected starting TE Neil Johnson. Played in all 12 games, catching one pass for 11 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Full name: Christopher Jason Witten ... Born: May 6, 1982.

HONORS - 2002 All-America The Sporting News (4th), All-SEC Associated Press, Coaches, Academic All-SEC.

2002 - Games/Started 13/13 ... Consensus All-SEC and Academic All-SEC ... Led SEC tight ends with 39 catches for 493 yards and five touchdowns ... Set UT single-season record for tight ends for receptions and receiving yards ... Only Vol to have a catch in every game this season … Named a semifinalist for the Mackey Award given to the nation's most outstanding tight end ... Most memorable play of season came on 25-yard touchdown catch in the sixth overtime in the victory over Arkansas … It came on Tennessee's first play of that overtime period … He split the defense down the middle and calmly made the catch to give the Vols the win … Had only one catch against Georgia and Mississippi State but each went for touchdowns … The touchdown grab against Mississippi State came on a short pass to the side of the field opposite the flow of the play … He made the grab and out raced the defenders into the end zone … Had six catches against both Florida and South Carolina … Had a critical catch on third down in the Vols' final scoring drive against the Gamecocks … Also active on punt coverage.

2001 - Games/Started: 13/2 ... Made the tight end a viable offensive weapon for the Vols this season … Led the Vols with seven catches and 91 yards against Alabama … Scored first career touchdown versus Tide on a 21-yard reception across the middle … Demonstrated nifty footwork on 17-yard touchdown reception against Memphis as he was able to drop his back foot in-bounds before crossing the end-line with his front foot … Finished the season as the Vols' third leading receiver with 28 catches for 293 yards … Also a solid blocker at the line of scrimmage and downfield … Key contributor on special teams as he was a part of the kickoff return, kickoff coverage and punt coverage teams.

2000 - Games/Started: 12/2...Because of personnel shortage at tight end, he was given crash course at that position and installed in lineup behind John Finlayson... Also a capable defensive end, he played a key role on kick coverage...His lone pass catch was for 11 yards against Louisiana-Monroe, a game in which he also had three tackle assists...For the season he had five tackles and three assists.

HIGH SCHOOL - Named All-America by PrepStar, Parade, Gridiron Greats, USA Today, Blue Chip Illustrated, Street & Smith ... Named the USA Today Player of the Year for Tennessee ... Listed as the No. 1 prospect in Tennessee by the Knoxville News-Sentinel and the Chattanooga Times & Free Press ... Named the East Tennessee Player of the Year, Region Defensive Player of the Year and runner-up for the Mr. Football award during his senior season ... Racked up 163 tackles, nine sacks, 27 tackles for loss ... Also registered eight deflected passes, two interceptions, two blocked kicks, five caused fumbles and recovered three fumbles his senior season ... Holds school record for most career tackles with 450 ... Also played tight end, catching 26 passes for 345 yards and 14 touchdowns ... Four-year starter at linebacker and tight end, leading team to state semifinals three times ... Named to the 4A All-State team his senior and junior years ... Also played basketball, averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds per game … Coach at Elizabethton High School: Dave Rider.

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