Our five-part series on what went right and what went wrong for the Cowboys continues with No. 3:
IRVING, Texas -- Jason Witten’s season started unlike any he had in his career and ended with him catching more passes in a season than any other tight end in NFL history.
Along the way, he also became the Cowboys’ all-time leader in receptions and was named to the Pro Bowl.
But Witten’s season was nearly over before it could begin because of a lacerated spleen suffered in the preseason opener against Oakland. He returned sooner than anybody expected to play in the season opener against the Giants but caught just two passes for 10 yards.
He did not look like the same player through the first three weeks of the season, but then he caught 13 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown against Chicago. Three weeks later, he caught 18 passes for 167 yards against the New York Giants.
Against Atlanta on Nov. 4, he passed Michael Irvin on the franchise’s reception list. He caught his 103rd pass of the season on Dec. 232 against New Orleans to surpass Tony Gonzalez’s record for catches by a tight end in a season.
He finished the season with 110 catches for 1,039 and three touchdowns.