Quarterback Jon Kitna made a smooth transition out of football after 16 years in the NFL. Kitna retired from the league two years ago. He was an algebra teacher and football coach at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash. Kitna watched football on Sundays at home like the majority of people.
After hearing about Tony Romo’s back injury, Kitna reached out to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. If Garrett was willing, Kitna wanted to step in as a backup quarterback. He was with the Cowboys from 2009 to 2011 and knew the playbook.
“I saw Tony got hurt, and I told Jason if he needed somebody to come in that could call a play, be able to pull a play off if a bad situation happened, I’d be willing to do that,” Kitna told the team’s website.
Despite working out quarterbacks David Carr, John Skelton, Tyler Thigpen and Caleb Hanie, Dallas signed Kitna and he will backup Kyle Orton against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
However, Kitna's return is not about a former athlete holding onto the past.
Kitna will earn $53,000 for a week's worth of work, but he plans to donate that money to Lincoln High School, according to The Dallas Morning News. His team finished its season 8-2 in 2013, which was an improvement from 5-5 during his first season. Kitna’s son, Jordan, a sophomore, was his starting quarterback.
Garrett was unsure if Kitna, 41-years-old, was serious about playing again, but the quarterback said he could do it if necessary.
“That was first question out of his mouth,” Kitna told the team’s website. “Like I said, it’s not like I’ve been sitting around, staying in shape, hoping I get another shot – my career is done,” he said. “I just felt like, with the situation that they’re in, I might be able to help in an emergency situation.”
If that was the sales pitch Kitna gave, it really explains why Garrett’s job is seemingly in jeopardy.
Kitna has 29,745 passing yards, 169 touchdowns and 165 interceptions in his career.
More importantly, the kids at Kitna's high school will benefit from his brief return to the NFL.
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