Record-breaking Jason Witten: 'You play to compete for championships'

ATLANTA -- Jason Witten couldn’t truly appreciate his accomplishment after a loss.

Witten broke Michael Irvin’s franchise record for receptions with a 7-yard catch in the fourth quarter. The perennial Pro Bowl tight end finished the game with seven catches for 51 yards, giving him 754 receptions during his career.

But those weren’t the numbers that dominated Witten’s thoughts after the 19-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. He’s worried about the Cowboys’ 3-5 record.

“I don’t want to neglect what happened,” Witten said, referring to breaking the franchise receptions record. “I’m tremendously humbled. From Day 1 when I came in here as a 20-year-old kid, I was just trying to do better each time I got an opportunity. To pass Michael and what he stood for and how he worked and obviously the player that he was, I mean, that’s special for me.

“But ultimately, and I think the relationship there is such that you don’t play to get catches. You play to compete for a championship and to win ballgames. That’s been my approach since Day 1 that I arrived in Dallas, and that’ll be the way until I leave.”

Witten, a 10-year veteran with one playoff win, grasps the reality of being two games under .500 midway through the season. He understands that the Cowboys will have to win at least six of their final eight games to have a chance to make the playoffs.

Witten believes that is possible. But he knows the Cowboys better start proving themselves soon.

“The actions have got to show for our football team,” said Witten, who stressed the need for a sense of urgency. “We believe it, we talk it, but you’ve got to do it at some point. We understand that urgency we have to have.”