By Kevin Patra
Around the NFL writer
The Dallas Cowboys’ winning streak continued Thursday night against the Minnesota Vikings, but a Jason Witten franchise-record streak ended.
The tight end did not catch a pass for the first time in 130 games. The last time Witten went without a catch was Week 9, 2008, versus the New York Giants. It was the fourth-longest catch streak in the NFL behind Larry Fitzgerald (190), Brandon Marshall (155) and Steve Smith Sr. (138).
“Those records really don’t mean anything,” Witten said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I still have a lot of confidence in my ability and feel I can play at a high level. A big part of that is making catches. But it’s just one of those games. Those things happen. You go through it. It’s not on one particular situation. That’s just the way the game went. I’m thankful and excited to be 11-1, much more than having a catch.”
Witten caught one pass in the third quarter, but a holding call on running back Ezekiel Elliott wiped out the play. The tight end officially ended the game with zero targets.
During his streak, which lasted 2,951 days, Witten caught 678 passes for 7,236 yards and 39 touchdowns.
To put the streak into perspective, the last game in which Witten didn’t catch a pass in Terrell Owens was still on the Cowboys, Brad Johnson and Brooks Bollinger were the Dallas quarterbacks that day, Plaxico Burress was a pre-prison Giant and Dak Prescott was 15 years old.
“It’s a long time,” Witten said. “Of course, you’d like to get a catch. I don’t remember [the 2008 game against the Giants]. I probably won’t remember this one other than we got the win. I’m playing for much more than catches.
“[I had] a couple of opportunities, that’s just the way it went. That’s the way it goes. Give them credit. They did a good job.”
While much has been made of Tony Romo’s future, the question of whether the end is near for Witten after 14 years is just as pertinent for a reliable 34-year-old finishing the final holes of his NFL round.