A heartbreaking loss is tough to handle, but Jason Witten isn't done fighting yet.
After seeing the Dallas Cowboys' amazing season end in the final seconds of Sunday's divisional round matchup against the Green Bay Packers, the especially dejected tight end walked slowly to the locker room. It was especially clear that the loss took a big toll on him as he was interviewed following the game.
"It was sudden and just raw emotion that just happened," Witten said, via Dallas Morning News. "A lot of emotions, a grown man playing a kid's game, and you lose and your season comes to an end. It's emotional for me right now, not just for where I'm at in my career but for this team. This started way back in February with a goal in mind, coming off a 4-12 season.
"We worked our tails off to make a plan and stay together as a team. We were united on the first day of camp, with all that entailed with our city, arm-in-arm, and just every step of the way, when Tony [Romo] went down and Dak [Prescott], just the unity we've shown all season."
When asked if he will be contemplating retirement in the offseason, Witten responded ambiguously.
"I haven't really thought about it," Witten said. "Every year when I'm empty at this point, it's just you gave everything you got, and I'll take time to reflect on it.
"I love this team and this group of guys and so, yeah, that will be the plan for sure."
A separate reporter reminded him that, for all his accomplishments, he's yet to reach the NFC Championship Game.
"Yeah, I'm well aware of that," Witten said. "Obviously that's something I realize, regardless of how many catches you have or any of that stuff, your legacy will be remembered as how you play in these certain situations in the playoffs, and that's tough. It's tough for me to swallow that. It's not about any one individual. I'm proud of this team. I really have my whole career I've tried to work really hard to not make it about me, and that's why there's emotion that goes along with this.
"I'm in my 14th year, and you know there's a shelf life for everybody. You put everything you have into it, and when you come up short it's tough. It's not about a paycheck. It's about an opportunity to compete and lead and win and play in these types of games.
"This team had a special feel all the way through, and to come up short like that for me is hard."
Despite the empty feeling Witten has at the moment, it doesn't sound like he's ready to hang up his cleats just yet. Having the Cowboys' legend with the team next year will continue to help this young team, and Witten himself doesn't sound finished.
Source: The Dallas Morning News · Photo Credit: Images Courtesy of Keystone Press