Quarterback Jon Kitna still has hope that he can play Sunday in the season finale against the Eagles, even though he said he is not feeling any better. Kitna strained his left oblique muscles in the second quarter of Saturday's 27-26 loss to the Cardinals. He did not practice Wednesday.
"We’re still a ways away from the game, so we’ll just see," Kitna said. "It’s one of those things where it could be feeling really bad for three or four days and then the next day it could just be gone. Hopefully that’s the case."
Kitna, 38, said anything that involves movement hurts.
"There’s no pain just standing here or anything like that," Kitna said. "There’s just a dull sensation to it. Certain movements, you feel like you have a knife in your side."
Kitna has completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 2,365 yards with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions this season in 9 1/2 games in place of Tony Romo, who broke his left clavicle in an Oct. 25 game against the Giants. The Cowboys' game against the Eagles on Sunday has no playoff implications for either team, and the Eagles are expected to rest a number of starters, including quarterback Michael Vick, receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Asante Samuel.
Kitna, though, still wants to play if he is able.
"I signed a contract to be the backup quarterback, and that’s what I am," Kitna said. "So if I’m healthy enough to play, that’s like asking every guy in here why is it important for you to play this week, because every guy is nicked up in some way and guys have been battling all year. ...That's our job. That’s what we do. That’s what we’re supposed to do. We signed a contract."
The Cowboys would like to see Kitna practice by Friday in order to start him on Sunday, though interim coach Jason Garrett did allow that "in theory" Kitna could play even if he is unable to practice. Kitna hopes to practice Friday, but he concedes he will have to feel better than he did Wednesday to get on the practice field.
In the meantime, he is working to help Stephen McGee get ready for what could be McGee's first career start.
"We live in such a society that wants to make a judgment about Stephen McGee or anybody in such a short time," Kitna said. "He came in a difficult situation last week and played well and this week isn’t going to be any easier just because he got half a game in last week. It’s a learning process in this league to play quarterback, to play any position, but certainly to play quarterback he’s in a difficult situation in terms of our health and injuries and things around him.
"Regardless how this week ends up and how he plays, if he has to play and stuff like that, he’s on the right track to be a real player in this league for a long time."
-- Charean Williams