Jason Witten's Record-Setting Game Can't Carry Cowboys to Victory

Jerry TappSenior Analyst IIIOctober 29, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 28:  Jason Witten #82 of the Dallas Cowboys carries the ball against Stevie Brown #27 of the New York Giants at Cowboys Stadium on October 28, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. The New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 29-26. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A record-setting performance by an individual player is rarely the needed consolation when a team loses a game. That was certainly the case yesterday as Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten set a Dallas record for most receptions in a game with 18 in their 29-24 loss to the New York Giants in Dallas. Witten did not catch his first pass in the game until the 11:29 mark of the second quarter. He finished the first half with four catches.

In the second half, however, Witten had five receptions in the third quarter and nine catches in the final 15 minutes. He gained 167 yards with his 18 catches.

Witten’s 18 receptions were three short of the NFL record set by Brandon Marshall in 2009 with the Denver Broncos. Terrell Owens is second on the list with 20 catches (he did it in 2000 with the 49ers), and Witten tied Marshall for third on the list; Marshall has 18 catches in a September 2008 game for the Broncos.

Not only did Witten set the team record, but he also established another new NFL mark: Most receptions in a game without a touchdown. Witten became the seventh NFL player since 1960 to have 15 or more receptions in a game and no touchdown. Following are those seven:


Player, Most Catches in a game without a TD (Date, Team)

Jason Witten-18 (October 28, 2012, Dallas)

Clark Gaines-17 (September 21, 1980, NY Jets)

Keenan McCardell-16 (October 20, 1996, Jacksonville)

Williams Andrews-15 (November 15, 1981, Atlanta)

Reggie Wayne-15 (October 3, 2010, Indianapolis)

Wes Welker-15 (November 22, 2009, New England)

Kellen Winslow-15 (October 7, 1984, San Diego)


This was the 24th time since 1960 that a player had 15 or more catches in a game. It was the second time for Witten; he had 15 receptions in a Dec. 9, 2007 games against the Detroit Lions in the Motor City.

Witten also became the third player to have 15 or more catches in multiple games. The others: Brandon Marshall and Wes Welker.


Here’s a few more stats about Witten’s record-setting game:

* Witten became the eighth player over the age of 30 to catch 15-plus passes in a game (since 1960).

* Of the 24 times when a player caught 15 or more passes, that player’s team won 12, and lost twelve.

* Of the 24 times when a player caught 15 or more passes, 12 happened in home games, and 12 on the road.