When Geoff Swaim glances around the film room at his fellow tight ends with the Dallas Cowboys Peyton Barber Jersey
, he doesn’t see Jason Witten anymore.
As for what’s showing on the screen, Swaim can’t help but see familiar No. 82 because the franchise leader in games was on the field nearly every snap for 15 years before his sudden retirement to go into broadcasting last month.
”Well, it’s hard to watch film and not have Witt in the film. You know what I mean?” Swaim said with a chuckle Wednesday after the final voluntary offseason practice before mandatory minicamp next week.
”I don’t know what tape you can bring up of the Cowboys in any sort of relevant way that Witt’s not on the field. It’s always him. It’s always him. It’s always him. And it’s that way for a reason.”
Swaim is the team’s oldest tight end at 24 with nine regular-season catches and 94 yards to show for his first three years in the league. That’s nine catches and 94 yards more than any of the other four – and 1,143 catches and 12,354 yards fewer than Witten, the club leader in both.
The next-oldest tight end? Rico Gathers, the former Baylor basketball standout who hadn’t played football in nearly a decade when the Cowboys drafted him two years ago. He’s 24, but four months younger than Swaim.
Next is Blake Jarwin, a second-year player who got in one game last season after the Cowboys activated him from the practice squad. Rookie Dalton Schultz, a fourth-round pick in April, was 6 when the Cowboys drafted Witten in 2003. The fifth tight end is undrafted rookie David Wells.
”Everybody has to start a game at some point in time, or play a first play at some point in time Kam Chancellor Jersey
,” new tight ends coach Doug Nussmeier said. ”I don’t look at it as a negative.”
The Cowboys had some experience besides Witten after last season, but James Hanna beat the 11-time Pro Bowl player to retirement by a couple of weeks. The 28-year-old Hanna had persistent knee issues.
The player most likely to do a double take was Swaim, a seventh-round pick out of Texas in 2015. In a matter of days, he went from understudy still building his resume to the only Dallas tight end with one.
”It was sort of overnight,” Swaim said. ”But again you have to adjust and move on. That’s how everyone approached it, `Wow, OK, here’s what’s in front of us now.’ It doesn’t do me any good to look in the past. It doesn’t do me any good to go, `What’s going on?”’
Gathers missed all of last season with a concussion after an impressive preseason that raised hopes about his development. It was a significant setback for someone with little football background who chose the NFL over the NBA because he thought it was his best shot at a pro career.
Now, though, Witten’s retirement has left the position wide open for the 6-foot-8, 285-pound Gathers Dave Robinson Jersey
, who hasn’t played in the regular season yet.
”There’s really no major opportunity to really do anything of growth from as far as expecting to play, expecting to take snaps from him because he’s not supposed to let that happen,” Gather said. ”It opens up windows for everybody to be able to come in and prove themselves.”
Schultz, who played at Stanford, saw reports of Witten drawing interest from the networks the way longtime friend and teammate Tony Romo did a year earlier when the former Cowboys quarterback decided to retire rather than play for another team after losing his job to Dak Prescott.
It’s only natural for draft prospects to ponder the idea of replacing a franchise icon such as Witten, who was days from turning 36 when he retired. It just doesn’t get much past the pondering.
”It’s all speculation, right?” Schultz said. ”I think people try to do their best at like, hey, there’s a potential fit. But in reality, you’re going to go to whoever you’re going to go and that’s just how it’s going to be.”
Now the question is who says how it’s going to be in the tight end room for the Cowboys. And if anyone says it’s automatically Swaim, he would disagree. He has a new favorite word for how that leadership grows: organic.
”We’re figuring things out together,” Swaim said. ”There’s no need for me to be in there yelling at somebody who’s a year younger than me. That doesn’t make sense. That wouldn’t be right.”
Just as it doesn’t seem right for him to glance around the room and not see Witten.
James Harden scored 26 points Adrian Phillips Jersey
, Eric Gordon had 18 points and two momentum-swinging 3-pointers in the third quarter, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 110-99 on for their 17th straight win.
The Rockets passed the Boston Celtics for the longest winning streak in the NBA this season. Houston hasn’t lost since Jan. 26 at New Orleans.
The latest victory came on the second of a tough back-to-back stretch of road games that started with a 10-point victory at Oklahoma City. No wonder the Rockets looked sluggish at times against the Bucks.
Trailing by about 10 points for most of the fourth quarter, Milwaukee got within 104-99 with 1:06 left on Sterling Brown’s layup.
Chris Paul answered with a short floater in the lane with 45 seconds left after driving on Jason Terry to silence Bucks fans who were pleading ”Defense! Defense!”
DALLAS (AP) – The NBA is reviewing 2011 allegations of sexual assault against Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and the investigation that led to a decision by prosecutors not to pursue the case.
League spokesman Mike Bass said the NBA was looking into the matter, a day after a weekly alternative newspaper in Portland, Oregon, reported a woman’s claim that Cuban put his hands down her pants and touched her inappropriately while they were taking a photo at a Portland nightclub. The report Tuesday in the Willamette Week came about a week and half after a Sports Illustrated account that portrayed a hostile work environment for women in the front office of the Mavericks. While Cuban wasn’t implicated, the SI report raised questions about what he knew and when.
Cuban flatly denied the woman’s allegations and provided a prosecutors’ report detailing the decision not to file charges.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – University of San Diego coach Lamont Smith resigned 10 days after he was arrested for investigation of domestic violence at the end of a road trip.
Smith’s resignation came one day after the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office said he wouldn’t face charges ”at this time” in a domestic violence investigation. Even though no charges were filed, the university said on Tuesday that Smith remained on administrative leave pending a school investigation.
Athletic director Bill McGillis said Smith, who played at USD and was in his third season as coach, offered his resignation and the school accepted it. McGillis said he then notified the team.
LEWISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Stephen Brown scored 22 points and reserve Nate Sestina added 16 as Bucknell won its second straight Patriot League Tournament championship with an 83-54 victory over Colgate.
The top-seeded Bison (25-9) head to the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in program history and sixth time as the Patriot League representative. Four of those six titles have come in the last eight years.
The Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their formidable pass rush with another top-level defensive lineman.
The Eagles acquired three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks, three people familiar with the trade told The Associated Press. The deal won’t be officially announced until the NFL’s league year opens next Wednesday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the trade information.
Seattle gets wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth-round pick Jack Tatum Jersey
, while Philadelphia also receives a seventh-round pick.
Bennett had 8 sacks last season and 54 in his nine-year career.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Los Angeles Rams agreed to trade linebacker Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants for two draft picks, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because NFL trades can’t be announced until March 14. ESPN first reported the deal.
Los Angeles gets the Giants’ fourth-round and sixth-round picks in the 2018 draft. The NFC West champion Rams also will send a seventh-round pick in 2019 to the Giants along with Ogletree, their defensive captain and last season’s leading tackler.
NEW YORK (AP) – Jerry Jones agreed to pay the NFL more than $2 million in legal fees resulting from two disputes the Dallas Cowboys owner had with the league, a person with direct knowledge of the settlement told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL did not announce details.
Commissioner Roger Goodell held an appeal hearing with Jones on Monday. That came a few days after Goodell assessed the financial penalties for Jones’ lawsuit to overturn the suspension of Cowboys star running back Ezekiel Elliott, and for a lawsuit Jones threatened to stop Goodell’s newly approved contract.
DENVER (AP) – Peyton Manning sold 31 Denver-area Papa John’s stores last week, two days before the NFL dropped the chain as its official pizza sponsor.
The Denver Post reported that Papa John’s spokesman Peter Collins confirmed the former NFL quarterback sold his stake to an existing Papa John’s franchisee. Manning will remain Papa John’s celebrity spokesman and brand ambassador. He wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The NFL and Papa John’s ended their deal Feb. 27.
NEW YORK (AP) – An aggrieved harness-racing bettor has gone to court to recoup more than $31,000 in winnings he said he was cheated out of when a doped horse won a race in New Jersey two years ago.
Leading figures in harness racing said they had never before heard of such a lawsuit, which accuses the train Authentic Womens Josey Jewell Jersey