By Josh Katzowitz
Though it comes as no surprise, backup quarterback Jon Kitna has told the Cowboys he will retire, according to Rapid Reporter Nick Eatman.
As Eatman writes, “Before the season, Kitna expected this to be his last and a back injury that forced him out for six weeks only strengthened his decision.”
Kitna had a solid career, becoming a full-time NFL starter with the Seahawks in 1999 and keeping that same position with the Bengals until Carson Palmer was ready to emerge before the 2004 season (Kitna actually won the NFL comeback player of the year award in 2003 as Palmer backed him up during his rookie season). After backing up Palmer for two years, Kitna went to the Lions and earned the No. 1 spot on the depth chart for another two years.
Eventually, he moved on to the Cowboys to be Tony Romo’s understudy and actually started nine games last season, leading the team to a 4-5 mark.
Although Kitna’s starting record is less than impressive (50-74), he finishes his career by completing 60.1 percent of his passes for 29,745 yards and more touchdowns (169) than interceptions (165).
Throughout most of his career, Kitna was seen as a clubhouse good-guy, somebody who could share his knowledge with anybody who asked. As he got older, he tried to be a role model for his younger teammates.
"When we run on Mondays after games, a lot of the veterans get to do half the running of a lot of the younger guys. Guys like myself, who don't play a lot or haven't played, do a little extra running," Kitna said this season, via the Dallas Morning News. "After that was over, I had a conversation with them, just saying, 'You have to be ready when your opportunity comes.' A lot of those guys came into the league the same way I did -- late-round draft picks or weren't drafted -- and you can get settled into your role sometimes. My message to them was, 'Don't settle into a role, because you might only get one opportunity. Not only might that be your only opportunity individually, but that's the opportunity that might be the difference between us winning and losing, so you've got to be ready.'"
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