PLANO, Texas -- A year ago at this time, Tony Romo was about a month removed from the end of his playing career and just beginning to learn the ins and outs of becoming a broadcaster.
Sources have said Witten is contemplating becoming an analyst for ESPN's Monday Night Football, while another network has made an "interesting" offer that could allow him to play one more year. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday a decision could be made by Tuesday.
Romo did not have any insight into Witten's decision after shooting a 77 in local qualifying at Gleneagles Country Club for the U.S. Open in June, but has every belief Witten will succeed in his next job.
"Jason's going to do well," Romo said. "He's as hardworking a guy as you're going to find. He'll be well-prepared for whatever environment he decides to be a part of next year."
Romo and Witten were teammates from 2003 to 2016 and developed a tight bond on and off the field.
Witten is the Cowboys' career leader in receptions and yards. He has played in more games than any Cowboy in history and is tied with Bob Lilly for the most Pro Bowls. Witten had been preparing for his 16th season when the calls came to audition for multiple networks.
Romo left as the Cowboys' all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. He admitted that walking away without a Super Bowl was difficult and would be difficult for Witten as well.
"I think that's the biggest challenge walking away is that you didn't accomplish the ultimate goal that you set out for," Romo said. "That's something that's hard. ... That's never something you're OK with. I just think you have to make choices with where you're at in life and what's going on around you, your family on your side. And they're a big part of those decisions that you make. I think that you could chase that thing forever and it might be the next year, but it might be 10 years away. It's a tough decision."
Romo was dealing with collarbone and back injuries that knocked him out for all but two full games in 2015-16. In 2016, he suffered a compression fracture in his back in the preseason and saw Dak Prescott take over and lead the Cowboys to a 13-3 record. Dallas opted to stick with Prescott when Romo was healthy.
He had opportunities to continue to play but opted to join CBS as its lead NFL analyst.
Witten, on the other hand, has missed one game in his career and played in the Pro Bowl, his 11th, in January.
"You can't really put a number on what Jason Witten has done or meant," Romo said. "He's done really everything a Cowboy could do that you guys see, but also behind closed doors, just in the facility and with the team. The way he handles things, he's the classic example every coach will use to follow. For every rookie, for every veteran, he's the guy that everyone's going to look to and try to emulate.
"I think that standard will be with the Cowboys long after he's gone and I don't think he even understands yet that what he put in place there is a standard of really just your routine and excellence and day to day that every kid has to abide by now."