After watching Brad Johnson do essentially nothing in three starts in 2008 and almost fall into one victory, the Cowboys made backup quarterback a priority this offseason.
So even with names such as Rex Grossman and Kyle Boller floating about this free agency period, the Cowboys traded for Detroit Lions veteran Jon Kitna. The 36-year-old, who has 12 NFL seasons under his belt, was expected to be released next week when he was due a roster bonus. The Lions are confirming the trade, but exactly what the Cowboys gave up is as yet unknown.
Unless Kitna comes into training camp and stinks, the plan is for him to backup Tony Romo. He has one thing in common with Romo - they were both undrafted out of Division I-AA colleges. Romo went to Eastern Illinois and Kitna went to Central Washington.
He has been in the NFL since 1997 when he broke in with the Seattle Seahawks. He was there from '97 to 2000. Kitna then played for the Bengals between 2000 and 2005. He spent the last three seasons with the Lions.
After starting all 16 games in 2006 and '07, Kitna was essentially benched this season and sent to the injured reserve list after appearing in only four games. He threw for 758 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions in 2008. His last game game was a 34-7 loss against the Bears on Oct. 5. In his career, Kitna has completed just under 60 percent of his passes for 27,293 yards with 152 touchdowns and 151 interceptions.
The Cowboys are still expected to select a quarterback in the draft in April.
- Mac Engel