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GRAPEVINE, TX - Cowboys tight end Jason Witten attended a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association this week.

Because of the ongoing NFL lockout, the MDA was instructed to refer to Witten in their release as a

No I didn't, that hurts, Witten said. That's tough. That's a tough one to swallow but man; I don't even know what to say other than I respect the process. It's hard to be able not to claim that after you lay it all out there like you don't.

Witten and Mavericks guard J.J. Barea headlined the celebrities, joining Albertson's for the 17th Annual Muscle Team Bash at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine.

Witten is the player representative for the Cowboys. It's his job to keep all of his teammates informed on the latest union news.

I know none of us have been in this situation, Witten says. I understand its business, it's nothing personal against us, and we know we have the best owner in football, he gives us every opportunity to be successful year in and year out. I respect that process and stay ready so that when it does comeback, we're a better football team.

Former players like Charles Haley, who was a defensive end for the Cowboys from 1992 to 1996, says he hopes the union continues to fight for the retired players and says adding more regular season games is a bad idea.

An eighteen game season would devastate those players because when they're talking about adding a few players to the team, those are going to be C level players that they don't want to get on the field, Haley says. That's not going to help the situation. Head coaches want their best players out there and those are the guys making the money.

The next date that Witten and all of the NFL players are keeping an eye on is April 6th, that's when a federal judge has a hearing. It'll mark the first time the two sides meet in a court room since their labor deal fell apart.

I think as Cowboy s players, you feel confident because you know how important it is to our owner and how big of a focal point he is in this process and he's going to do everything he can to get it done, Witten says.
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