Pro Bowl TE Jason Witten contract extension through 2017

NEWARK, N.J. — Cowboys Pro Bowl tight end Jason Witten has signed a five-year, $37 million contract extension that includes $19 million guaranteed, according to a source.

Witten, 29, had two years left on his current deal but he’s now under contract through 2017. The Cowboys and Witten worked late into Saturday night to get the deal done. The Cowboys open the regular season tonight at the New York Jets.

Witten tweeted about 8 a.m. Sunday about the contract extension.

“I am blessed to say that I will retire a cowboy!Thx to the jones family, and all the cowboy staff! True honor to put on the star!! #gameday”

Witten’s extension comes two days after the Cowboys signed Pro Bowl nose tackle Jay Ratliff to a five-year, $40 million contract extension. Like Witten, Ratliff also had two years remaining on his contract and is signed through 2017. Extending contracts for players with two years remaining on their current deals is new for the club.

A few weeks ago, the Cowboys also extended the contract of cornerback Orlando Scandrick.

Witten is a seven-time Pro Bowler who has posted three seasons with at least 1,000 yards receiving. He’s quarterback Tony Romo’s favorite target and closest friend on the team.

This will be Witten’s third contract. Witten became the highest-paid tight end in 2006 at the time when he signed a seven-year, $29.5 million contract ($12 million was guaranteed).

Witten was a third-round selection in the 2003 NFL draft and he’s missed only one game in his career (when he had a broken jaw his rookie season).

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