Dallas Cowboys Qb Controversy?
Last season a 6-10 record, and injuries to Romo, and eventually Kitna as well have brought questions about both quarterbacks abilities as a starter, and have some people, even some on the roster, thinking Kitna might be the better short term option.
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In What is being dubbed “The Year of the Quarterback”, or 1983 part 2…The Cowboys head into the draft with multiple questions under center, a new head coach, and 3 picks in the top 71 selections in April’s draft approaching quickly. The Lockout situation causes even more confusion with the draft boards they will have to set up. To complicate the situation further their starting quarterback is only signed to 2013, , and their 3rd string qb that has sat developing under these guys for a couple seasons hasn’t panned out as expected. Which brings me to my question…Is it time for the Cowboys to look to Romo’s heir apparent, or even worse…have a veteran compete for the job?
Last season under Tony Romo’s leadership the Cowboys struggled to just a 1-5 record (missing the 2nd half of the Giants game). Granted most of these games were lost by a touchdown or less, Romo had 3 games in which he threw 2 ints or more. During that stretch he threw 3 tds in just 2 games in those 2 games he also totalled 5 ints. He had his highest completion rate to date of his career, but averaged less yards per pass than he had in any past season. Romo is a guy who has always kind of given up a lot of turnovers. 2009 was actually out of character for him when he threw for just 9 ints and fumbled 6 times losing just 4. In his 3 previous seasons as a starter he had 46 ints, 32 fumbles, losing 12. He is basically a younger version of Brett Favre and unless he continues to improve his decision making but begins to make more big plays he will lose his job to Kitna or someone else. He is already 31 years old coming off of an injury.
Jon Kitna spent the entire 09 season without throwing a pass in the regular season. He started 9 of 10 games he played in and won 4 of them in 2010. Nearly bringing the team back in the 2nd half of the Giants game when Romo was hurt. The Games they did lose were all by 3 points or less under him as a starter except for the first two games he seemed to be knocking the rust off. Kitna averaged 7.4 yards per pass completed almost 65% of his passes for 2,365 yards scoring 17 tds and 12 ints fumbling 7 times losing only 1. The problem with him: he’ll be 38 by the time the season is underway, he has never been the most accurate, or strongest quarterback, and is little more than a game manager in most peoples’ eyes. He is however signed through 2014 a year longer than much more expensive starter Tony Romo. Jason Garrett was one of many who got a front row seat to Kitna’s resurgence of the Cowboy’s last season after he took a team that was 1-4, almost led them to a comeback victory against the Giants, and followed up with division wins against Washington, and the Giants. Nearly beating Philly the first time they met as well. With Romo under center they lost to Washington, and were on their way to a blow out loss against the Giants. Stephen McGee struggled to a win over Philly in week 17, and nearly won the game against the Cardinals but didn’t look pretty in either game. Leading me to believe it’s Kitna’s turn to shine here.
With the resurgence the team had underneath Kitna last season it’s hard to believe that he won’t be at least in their thoughts as competition for Romo this offseason whether he is happy to go back to his back-up role or not. He is a guy who gives the team a better chance to win at this point and that’s what the NFL is all about. If Kitna won even 2 more games and left last season with a winning record teams would’ve been trying to trade for him. As a matter of fact Paging Cincinati…Jon Kitna could replace Carson Palmer….
Ultimately I’ll let the Cowboys fans decide whether Kitna deserves the starting job or not, but in my eyes robbing him of the chance to compete is only robbing your own team, and I happen to have heard many players on their roster feel the same.