Witten says opening with Giants a big motivator for Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys are in wait-till-next-season mode after another disappointing finish caused them to miss the playoffs in 2011. Veteran tight end Jason Witten sees reason for optimism this time, though.

"In my nine years, this is probably the most aggressive that we've been (in offseason player moves)," Witten told the team's official website. "And just filling needs, it's probably the best that we've done. As a player, not that they ask, I think it's been awesome to see the additions we have. They're the right type of guys that fit into your locker room and they're eager to work."

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Witten was especially high on free-agent addition Brandon Carr, the former Kansas City Chiefs' cornerback who signed with the Cowboys this offseason. Witten was one of the Dallas veterans invited to a dinner at Cowboys Stadium when Carr made his free-agent visit.

"I think the best thing about him is that his expectations are even higher," Witten said. "He wants to be a shutdown, lockdown corner. That's great to hear coming out of his mouth."

Another factor fueling Witten's fire is the knowledge of where the Cowboys will open their 2012 regular season: in the Meadowlands against the defending Super Bowl-champion New York Giants on Sept. 5.

"You see that schedule knowing we're going to open up (in New York) against the defending champs ... what else do you need to motivate yourself?" Witten said.

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