Jason Witten says change was inevitable

NEW ORLEANS -- Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was upset that his position coach, John Garrett, lost his job amid the team's coaching staff changes this offseason. But the 10-year NFL veteran says he knew something was bound to happen after a second consecutive 8-8 finish.

"Ultimately, we know it's a bottom-line business and the results have got to be there," Witten said Friday morning. "Any time you don't make it, these things go on. But we trust [head coach] Jason Garrett and we trust what's going on. The foundation's being laid and we believe in what the team is doing."

The Cowboys have replaced their defensive coordinator, defensive line coach and special teams coach since the end of the season, and they're still looking for a tight ends coach to replace John Garrett (who is Jason's brother) and a running backs coach to replace Skip Peete. It's a fair amount of upheaval for a team that appeared to be making good strides before losing the final two games of the season, but as Witten said, the bottom line is that 8-8 isn't good enough. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones decided changes needed to be made.

"The best thing about playing for Mr. Jones is you know he's going to try and do anything he can to make the situation better and try and make it happen," Witten said.

Witten was speaking at a news conference introducing him as one of three finalists for the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. Witten's SCORE foundation, aimed at preventing domestic violence by helping provide positive male role models for children in the battered women's shelters he funds in Dallas and Tennessee, is the main reason he's up for the award. Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals and Joe Thomas of the Browns are the other two finalists. The award will be announced Saturday as part of the NFL Honors show.