Cowboys backup quarterback Jon Kitna has informed the team he will retire, a move that was expected after he went on injured reserve Dec. 14 with a back injury. Kitna did not return phone call or email messages.
Kitna, 39, had considered retirement before the 2011 season. Instead, he returned to Dallas without his family, who stayed at their off-season home in Washington.
He played for four teams in 15 seasons and was 50-74 in 124 career starts. Kitna passed for 29,745 yards and 169 touchdowns with 165 interceptions. He ended the 2010 season injured, too, after an abdominal injury kept him out of the regular-season finale. Kitna was 4-5 in nine starts in place of starter Tony Romo last season after Romo broke his left clavicle.
Kitna's departure leaves Stephen McGee as the team's backup quarterback behind Romo. McGee, a former fourth-round draft pick from Texas A&M, has seen signifcant regular-season action in three games. That includes the Dec. 24 loss to the Eagles when Romo injured his throwing hand on the team's fourth play from scrimmage. McGee is 46-for-82 for 420 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in his career.
The Cowboys could sign a veteran quarterback, or they could draft one. Among the free-agent quarterbacks who could be signed as a backup include: Jason Campbell, Kyle Orton, David Carr, Charlie Batch, Vince Young, Derek Anderson, Rex Grossman and Brady Quinn.
-- Charean Williams