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Jason Witten leaving Cowboys, joining ESPN

Longtime Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is reportedly retiring to become the new analyst on "Monday Night Football."

Jason Witten is exiting the playing field and entering the broadcast booth.

ESPN reports that Witten has agreed to become an analyst on Monday Night Football. ESPN previously reported that Witten was likely to make the move but hadn’t officially decided. Now it appears to be official.

Witten, who will turn 36 on Sunday, is still a good enough player that the Cowboys were hoping to keep him. But his production declined last year, and his 63 catches for 560 yards were his lowest totals since he became the Cowboys’ starting tight end in 2004.

It’s the second straight season that a Cowboys player has retired and gone into the broadcast booth. Last year, Witten’s friend and longtime teammate Tony Romo retired after the Cowboys released him and took a job with CBS, where he got rave reviews as an analyst. ESPN can only hope Witten is as successful -- and the Cowboys can only hope to identify a young tight end who replaces Witten as well as Dak Prescott has replaced Romo.