Jason Witten a Cowboy for life

NEWARK, N.J. -- Jason Witten was 20 when the Cowboys drafted him in 2003. If he plays out the five-year extension he signed late Saturday night, he will be 35 in 2017.

In some ways he could be Jerry Jones’ Bob Lilly, the Mr. Cowboy for an entirely new generation of Cowboys fans.

Witten’s on-field success is obvious -- seven-time Pro Bowler, five seasons with at least 80 catches -- but the work he and his wife, Michelle, do with their SCORE Foundation that helps families and individuals affected by domestic violence is what attaches them so closely to the community.

Jones has already said Witten is among his favorite players of all time. Well, we’d have to assume the Triplets -- Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith -- would make up the top three. Larry Allen is about to enter the Ring of Honor, so he would have to be four. Then Witten.

Not bad company, but what Witten wants more than anything else is one thing those four players have: a Super Bowl ring.

By next year, Witten should become the franchise’s all-time leader in receptions. By the time he retires, he could have the most catches in league history for a tight end.

On Nov. 23, 1975, Tex Schramm made Lilly the first member of the team’s Ring of Honor with a ceremony at halftime of the game versus Philadelphia a year after Lilly retired.

That’s something that should happen for Witten, too.