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NFL notes: Witten set to pass Irvin in Cowboys' record books

Published October 31, 2012 8:21 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Jason Witten still remembers vividly his first NFL catch, though at the time the Dallas Cowboys tight end didn't think enough about it to even keep the ball.

It was a 13-yard pass from Quincy Carter in the fourth quarter of a loss against Atlanta, the only catch of his NFL debut in the 2003 season opener.

"It's one of those deals, you catch it, you get up. It's just football, this is what we do," Witten recalled Wednesday. "It seems like it was yesterday."

When the Cowboys play at Atlanta on Sunday night, Witten might catch a ball really worth keeping.

With four more receptions, Witten will surpass Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin's career mark of 750 that stands as the Cowboys' franchise record.

"Their exterior might be different but they're all about the same thing," said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, who was Irvin's teammate. "Each of those guys is as good a teammate as I've been around, as passionate about this game as I've been around, works as hard at this game as anybody I've ever been around. Really, really well-liked.

"Michael is obviously flamboyant. Jason is not quite as flamboyant. But the passion in both of those guys is there."

Witten broke his own single-game franchise record by catching 18 passes in a loss to the New York Giants last Sunday. The seven-time Pro Bowler has 43 receptions over the last four games after a slow start while he recovered from a lacerated spleen. Now he is close to passing Irvin's career mark established over 12 seasons (1988-99).

Around the league

Eagles • Michael Vick will remain the starting quarterback for Philadelphia, coach Andy Reid announced Wednesday.

Dolphins • Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was practicing on a limited basis after leaving Sunday's victory over the Jets in the first quarter with left knee and thigh injuries.