It is being reported that the Dallas Cowboys have made a decision on who to sign as a backup quarterback if Tony Romo is unable to play this week.
Cowboys are expected to sign Jon kitna as third qb. A blast from the past— Clarence Hill (@clarencehilljr) December 24, 2013
If your initial reaction to this began with the words "What the . . .", please do not feel alone. Kitna's name did not surface at all, from what I can determine, in the early reports as to who was working out for the Cowboys to become Kyle Orton's backup and scout team quarterback. There were some reports that Richard Bartel was one of the quarterbacks invited in, although other sources indicated that may have been inaccurate. They did apparently include Caleb Hanie in the workouts along with David Carr, Tyler Thigpen and John Skelton, but in the end decided to go with a well known quantity. Apparently, the team did not even have to have him work out.
This necessitated a roster move, which also indicates that Dwayne Harris will be available in his role of special teams ace.
To make room for Jon Kitna, WR/KR Micheal Spurlock was released— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) December 24, 2013
For those who may not be familiar, Kitna was the backup to Romo from 2009 through 2011, filling in after Romo was injured on October 25th, 2010. Kitna finished the season for Romo, who went on IR, and passed for over 2000 yards while leading the team to a 4-5 mark during that time. He would wind up missing the final game of the season himself due to injury. After the 2011 season, he retired from professional football and returned to Seattle to become a high school football coach and math teacher.
Kitna played a total of 15 years in the NFL the first time around, with stops with the Seattle Seahawks, Cincinnati Bengals, and Detroit Lions before becoming a backup in Dallas. He started for all three teams, but also served as a backup in all three cities as well. He had a role with the Bengals to help prepare Carson Palmer to replace him as the starter, and he reportedly handled it with grace and professionalism.
The biggest advantage he has is that he already knows Garrett's offense and many of the players on the team. With the lack of time involved, that familiarity may well have been the deciding factor in bringing him back to Dallas for what is likely to be a very brief time with the team.
It is a heck of a way to pick up some extra cash for the holidays.
[UPDATED 6:10 pm CST]