Jon Kitna is back on the sidelines, should the Cowboys need him. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Tony Romo may or may not be done for the season after suffering a back injury against the Washington Redskins last Sunday, but the Dallas Cowboys knew one thing was certain -- they needed a second quarterback for practice while Romo underwent treatment and Kyle Orton took first-team reps in preparation. So, after trying out several quarterbacks, the Cowboys signed 41-year-old Jon Kitna, who last took NFL snaps for Dallas in 2011.
Since he retired, Kitna has been teaching math and coaching football at Lincoln High in Tacoma, Wash. But we're assuming that the school won't mind the extended holiday vacation Kitna will have to take, especially if the Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday night and win the NFC East. Kitna plans to donate his entire first-week salary -- $53,000 -- to the school. Kitna revealed the plan on Christmas Day, after the team's practice, per the Dallas Morning News.
The Cowboys signed Kitna, whose son Jordan plays quarterback for Lincoln's team, without a tryout.
“He said he would run scout team for the high school team and give them a really good look, like he gave us great looks when he was here,” head coach Jason Garrett told the Dallas Morning News. “So he’s a very active guy. He’s a mentally tough guy. ... And he’s certainly very young at heart. So it was good to have him back, good to have him back in the meetings, and [I’m] excited to see him practice today.”
Kitna texted Garrett after hearing of Romo's injury, the two men talked, and the agreement came soon after.
“I told Jason if he wants me or somebody to come in and call a play and be able to pull a play off if a bad situation happened, I would be willing to do that,” Kitna said.
Kitna started nine games for the Cowboys in 2010 after Romo suffered a broken collarbone. In nine starts, he completed 209 passes in 318 attempts for 2,365 yards, 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.