Jason Witten: Dolphins coach Dan Campbell 'tough guy' and 'leader'

Few current NFL players know Miami Dolphins interim head coach Dan Campbell as well as Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten.

Campbell was the starting tight end for Dallas in 2003 when the Cowboys drafted Witten to eventually be the replacement. Campbell spent three seasons with Witten – now a 10-time Pro Bowler – and taught Witten a lot about leadership in his formative NFL years.

"Dan was great. I think Dan was a tough guy. He was a leader. He loved football. He was passionate about it,” Witten said, via ESPN Cowboys reporter Todd Archer. “So, he's transitioned as a coach and I think he'll do a good job. And he'll embrace that opportunity as a guy that really does a great job in kind of focusing on the now and being great today. He embodies that in the way he played, and I'm sure he's that way as a coach.”

Campbell replaced former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin, who was fired on Monday. Campbell said his decade in the NFL helps him understand the players, which is needed in Miami’s locker room. There was a growing disconnect between players and coaches as the losses piled up for the Dolphins (1-3). Campbell is well-respected by the players and knows their everyday challenges.

The energy and intensity are there. But Campbell, who has zero head coaching experience, must prove he can also handle the X’s and O’s and game-day decisions that it takes to consistently win in the NFL.

Campbell is a fighter who won’t go down easy, according to Witten.

“I think guys rally behind him and they'll do a great job at that,” Witten said. “He'll give everything he's got."