For Jason Witten, friendships will last

SOUTHLAKE, Texas – By about a day, Jason Witten is the longest tenured Cowboy.

Witten was a third-round pick in the 2003 draft, and Tony Romo was signed as a college free agent after the second day of the draft that year ended.

With the departures Terence Newman and Bradie James, who signed with Cincinnati and Houston last week, Witten and Romo are the final members of the Class of 2003. Mat McBriar joined the team late that season and remains unsigned now.

Newman was a starter from the first day he became a Cowboy. Witten became a starter in 2004. James became a starter in 2005. Romo became a starter in 2006.

“It goes fast,” Witten said. “I think that even makes it more that your legacy as a player is ultimately tied to winning championships. Being around that building with the guys’ names on the wall and pictures on the wall obviously they’re elite players, but they made everybody around them better. It’s what challenges us. But it was a great run with those guys.

"It’s unfortunate when it’s over because, you know, man, it would’ve been nice to have had that ultimate goal of that shared commitment of going to a Super Bowl. But those guys were great teammates who came to work every day and it’s part of the business. Those guys you look at as friends for life, put a lot of work in together, but that’s the way the game goes. We wish them the best, you keep in touch, but it’s a business.”