Everyone was blindsided Thursday by the news that 36-year-old Jason Witten would end his retirement and come back to the Cowboys.
The decision got a big thumbs up from both Cowboys fans and NFL fans on social media.
The Cowboys announced that Witten has re-signed with the team after spending a year in the broadcast booth for Monday Night Football.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who is a superfan of all the Dallas teams, was one of the first pro athletes to welcome Witten back.
Witten’s former teammate Martellus Bennett suggested getting the band back together. He tweeted out a video of himself working out and asked the Cowboys if they needed a backup tight end.
Former Cowboy Demarcus Ware also tweeted out a video message about a possible comeback following Witten's announcement.
As expected, fans of America’s team were overwhelmed with joy to have Witten back on the field.
Kristin Rosenbaum says she’s the ultimate Jason Witten fan. She was on her way to buy a new #82 jersey as Witten heads back to the field after a brief stint with ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
“He is so consistent, and he is my all-time favorite player,” she said. “He is exactly what we need to take us all the way.”
While it was welcomed news, some were shocked it came at all.
Dwight Massaquoi and Connor Wright — got the news Thursday while practicing passing routes at The Star.
“He said he was done,” Massaquoi said. “Usually when you say you are done, you are done. So I was surprised to see him come back.”
“When he retired, I think the Cowboys defense was going a little bit into a rebuild mode. Their offense really didn’t have an identity other than Zeke,” Wright said. “I felt he retired because he felt like they were going in a different direction. Then they added Cooper and kept the same thing going, and I think he just wanted to rejoin the squad.”
In a statement Witten said:
By the start of football season, the veteran tight end will be 37 years old.
“He’s getting up there in age, so he can’t be playing every snap,” Massaquoi said.
“It’s going to take a toll on him,” Wright said. “I think the other tight ends, like Jarwin and stuff, are going to have to get involved. He can’t be catching 100 balls a year like he used to.”
Still, there’s plenty of love for Witten and excitement about what could unfold on the field.