Former Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten is coming out of retirement just one year after he quit to become a lead analyst on ESPN's Monday Night Football broadcast.

Witten, 36, will be returning to the Cowboys, who retained his rights when he was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/Retired list.

Witten spent his entire 15-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys after being selected in the third round out of Tennessee in the 2003 NFL Draft. He played in 15 games during his rookie season and has started all 16 games for every season after that.

In a statement released by the Cowboys on Thursday, Witten explained:

“The fire inside of me to compete and play this game is just burning too strong,” Witten said in a statement. “This team has a great group of rising young stars, and I want to help them make a run at a championship. This was completely my decision, and I am very comfortable with it. I’m looking forward to getting back in the dirt.”

Over the course of his career, Witten set Cowboys franchise records in receptions (1,152) and receiving yards (12,448), in addition to becoming one of the greatest players at his position in league history. Only Tony Gonzalez has more receptions and yards at the tight end position.

The Cowboys finished atop the NFC East last season with a 10-6 record.

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)