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Jason Witten: I'm coming back to Dallas Cowboys in '18

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The Dallas Cowboys will enter the 2018 offseason facing the possibility of an extensive offensive overhaul.

While the futures of play-caller Scott Linehan and nominal No. 1 receiver Dez Bryant are in question, veteran tight end Jason Witten intends to return for a franchise-record 16th season.

"Oh, I'm back," Witten said Sunday, via The Dallas Morning News. "I'm coming back. I love playing this game too much and I know that I can play it at a high level."

Much like Antonio Gates in Los Angeles, Witten's role has declined as he's lost a few steps in his mid-30s. Although no longer a perennial Pro Bowler or blue-chip roster asset, he remains Dallas' team leader.

The franchise's all-time record holder in games played (239), receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448), Witten finished his 15th season with 560 yards and five touchdowns on 63 catches.

Already a likely Hall of Famer, Witten has his sights set on a collecting a Super Bowl ring before he retires.

"I know this -- my burn is strong inside me to play at a high level," Witten explained, "and to be a part of this group of guys and be a leader and see this thing through and go compete for a championship. When I wake up tomorrow that's what my focus will be on."

Witten signed a four-year contract extension last March. If the Cowboys are going to improve on their 9-7 record to make a run at the Lombardi Trophy in 2018, they will need to incorporate younger talents such as 2017 preseason sensation Rico Gathers.

To that end, Witten is determined to redefine the tight-end position and ensure its success in Dallas going forward.

"I'm as motivated now as I've ever been to play this position at a high level," Witten said, "and help my team in all situations as a leader, as a veteran, but most importantly as a tight end and what that position consists of in this offense. With that, we got to get back to work, evaluate it, strip it down to the most simple form."

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