Cowboys TE Jason Witten’s record set to be broken in 2024 by Bears veteran

Cowboys TE Jason Witten’s record set to be broken in 2024 by Bears veteran

Cowboys legend Jason Witten will still be the franchise’s all-time leader in game appearances when the 2024 season ends. But his current record of 271 career games played by an NFL tight end looks to be broken in late September of this season.

Marcedes Lewis has re-signed with Chicago for an incredible 19th season in the pros, it was announced Monday. The first-round draft pick back in 2006 has appeared in 268 contests since then, putting him just three back from Witten.

Assuming the 40-year-old Lewis gets into each of the Bears’ games to start the coming season, he’ll break the record in Week 4 when Chicago hosts the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 29. There’s little reason to believe the dependable Lewis won’t stick to that timeline; he hasn’t missed a game since the 2020 season.

Lewis saw his first NFL action on September 18, 2006. For perspective on how long he’s been an active player, current Cowboys rookie Caelen Carson was four and a half years old that day. And an unknown backup quarterback named Tony Romo was still four weeks away from being thrown into a Monday night game versus the Giants in relief of Drew Bledsoe.

Lewis played for 12 years in Jacksonville, then joined the Packers in 2018, where he was coached by Mike McCarthy until the head coach was fired in December of that year. Lewis stayed in Green Bay until the conclusion of the 2022 season; this record-setting campaign will be his second year in Chicago.

If Lewis plays in all 17 of the Bears’ games, he’ll end the season in the NFL’s all-time top 20 in terms of career games played.

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Witten broke the career games record for tight ends in his final NFL tilt in 2020, his only season with Las Vegas. His appearance as a starter in the Raiders’ season finale that year gave him one more game than Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, who had retired after the 2013 season with 270 game appearances.

Witten played 255 regular-season games with the Cowboys, missing only one game- in his rookie season- over 16 years in the silver and blue. Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur is second in team history, with 253 games in the silver and blue. Of current Cowboys, guard Zack Martin is the active leader, with 152 game appearances for the franchise.

Story originally appeared on Cowboys Wire