Jason Witten checks in at No. 36

IRVING, Texas -- Jason Witten became the fifth Cowboy to check in on NFL Network’s Top 100 players of 2011 list when he showed up at No. 36.

That seems to be about right, doesn’t it? You can quibble with some of the players immediately ahead of him -- Devin Hester and Jamaal Charles at Nos. 32 and 33? -- but Witten is the fourth tight end to be named by the players in the top 100. Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez came in at No. 46, Indianapolis’ Dallas Clark came in at No. 78 and San Francisco’s Vernon Davis came in at No. 88. I would imagine the only tight end ranked higher than Witten will be San Diego’s Antonio Gates.

The coolest part of the feature was having Davis present Witten. I thought it would have been Jason Garrett, Witten’s current head coach, or Tony Sparano, the current Miami coach who was Witten’s first position coach.

But with a player as gifted as Davis saying Witten has the best hands in the NFL and how he watches him play to help improve shows you the respect Witten has in the league.

To recap the other Cowboys on the list: Andre Gurode was No. 57, Miles Austin was No. 70, Tony Romo was No. 72 and Jay Ratliff was No. 75.

The next (and last) Cowboy to come off the list will be DeMarcus Ware. We’ll have a separate post on where Ware should be rated later.