Jason Witten, Third Round, Dallas Cowboys, 2003
“Peyton Manning was a guy I looked up to, sort of a mentor, and the Colts decided to take a different tight end in Dallas Clark. They drafted a tight end and it wasn’t me. There was emotion there. Nobody had told me that I was going to be drafted there, but obviously you’re human and you’re hoping for those things. That was tough. It was like I got hit right in the stomach when they drafted another tight end.
Then, to wrap it up, two hours later, to get the phone call from Jerry Jones and Coach Parcells. That was quite the moment I’ll never forget. There are the highs and the lows and the anxiety of that day. You get that call from Jerry. Everybody knows his voice. He asked me simply, he said, ‘Would you like to put the star on the side of your helmet?’ As a 21-year-old kid, it put chills on my arm. Your family is all watching. My grandad is my high school coach. He’s sitting right there, and he has no clue who I am talking to. I have a five-minute conversation with Jerry. I get off that conversation and get to talk to a Hall of Fame coach in Coach Parcells. I had a 10-minute conversation with him. All the while that’s going on, you see your name going across the ticker there that they selected you. It was a pretty special feeling getting that phone call and something I’ll remember the rest of my life even though it wasn’t a long conversation.”