This is first part of my series on Jason Witten. Today I am going to focus on Jason Witten as a blocker. Over the next few days I'll post new parts to this series. I am certain that he is the best tight end in the NFL right now. He may go down as the best tight end in NFL history when his career is over. Hopefully this will open the eyes of anyone who doubts how good this guy is in every way imaginable.
If you watch Jason closely during any game you can see how he has worked on his footwork to allow him to get in position to block players who are often bigger and quicker than he is. He is truly a student of the game and his footwork is testament to that. Blocking isn't always who is stronger or faster. It is usually a battle that is won through superior technique. Jason clearly works hard to be a great blocker.
In every game Jason Witten is placed in formations that allow him to be the key blocker on run plays. He has impeccable ability to not only block his man, but then get down field to help turn short gains into big plays. The most obvious example of how good he is run blocking can be seen when the Cowboys motion him into the backfield to be the lead blocker on run plays. He is often asked to seal the end of the line on outside running plays and is almost always able to get the job done.
Another great example of his blocking abilities can be seen on some pass plays. In certain situations the Cowboys ask him to stay in as an extra pass blocker. This sometimes matches him up man-to-man with the best pass rusher from the opposing team. While he may not dominate these players, he very rarely allows his man to apply any pressure to the quarterback. Again, his technique allows him to deal with players who are sometimes athletically superior to him.
On pass plays where other receivers get the ball you can be sure that Jason will be hustling to get into position to help the receiver after the catch. While some guys just loaf around after a teammate catches the ball, Jason is always looking for a way to get involved in the play. He just has the desire to help his team win in any way that he can.
While there are tight ends in the league who do the same thing as blockers, there aren't many who excel at blocking while also being the center of the passing game. In part 2 of this series I'll focus on Jason Witten as a receiver.