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

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 Bryantare 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 sensationRico 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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