Is this the year that Jason Witten will break down?
At Dallas News, I argued that Jason Witten is in for a steep decline in production in 2013.
Yes, Witten hauled in 110 passes in 2012, but that’s due primarily to a massive workload in situations when the Cowboys were forced to throw the football. Of Witten’s 110 receptions, 79 came when the Cowboys were losing and 25 came when the team was tied. That means that Witten caught all of six passes when the Cowboys were winning last year. Six passes!
Bulk stats can be important, but efficiency stats better predict future play. How will Witten perform in 2013 if he sees only 130 targets instead of the career-high 150 he had last season? On a per-catch and per-target basis, Witten actually wasn’t at his best in 2012. His average reception went for just 9.4 yards—a career-low—and he also checked in below seven yards per target. Even on a per-route basis, Witten’s steady decline continued. . .
The truth is that Witten didn’t play any better in 2012 than he did in prior seasons—he was actually slightly worse—but he just saw way more opportunities.
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