Jason Witten a bit bummed No. 1,000 won't come from Tony Romo

Jason Witten and Tony Romo have connected for 649 receptions in their careers with the Cowboys. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

IRVING, Texas -- At some point Monday, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten should reach the 1,000-catch mark of his career, becoming just the 11th player in NFL history to reach such a figure.

But that pass won’t be thrown by Tony Romo, who is out for the rest of the season because of a broken left collarbone. Matt Cassel will start Monday against the Washington Redskins. He and Witten have hooked up 22 times for 210 yards in five games.

Of Witten’s 998 catches, 649 have come from Romo for 7,287 yards.

“It seems like it’s taken a little bit longer than I thought here the last couple of weeks,” Witten joked. “It’s all good. I’m honored and humbled through this entire process to even think about joining that list. I guess it’s a bummer that Tony is not going to be the guy to do it just because so much of our success was together, but ultimately I don’t need a catch number to define our success and our journey together. I’ll look back on how I got there and he was a huge part of that and still is a huge part of my success, our success together, so I don’t think that will affect it ... Sure, I’d love him to throw it, but at this point, you’re just thrilled that anybody will throw it to you and you can reach a milestone such as that, so I reflect back on the journey, not just the number of catches.”

Witten leads the Cowboys with 55 catches for 508 yards. This is the 12th straight year Witten has had at least 50 catches in a season. With 15 catches over the final five games he would have at least 70 catches in eight straight years.

But he is not concerned with the numbers.

“I believe I can play at a high level and be a difference-maker on the passing game and I don’t really worry about that at this point,” Witten said. “Ultimately it’s about winning and I think it’s been clearly stated over my career here and recently that championships are what you want and need. So I think that’s all I focus on. I don’t know what that catch number means. I know I just take it one year at a time and one game at a time in how I can go out there and create a matchup and hopefully take advantage of them when my number is called.”