Dallas Cowboys 39-year-old backup quarterback Jon Kitna has informed the team that he plans to retire.
Kinta finished the season on injured reserve, with a lingering back injury, and had served as Romo’s backup for the last three years.
Kitna was a 15-year veteran who served as an important sideline and locker room leader for the team, even though he had limited playing time on the field this year. He attempted just 10 passes this year, after playing a much more active role in 2010 due to Romo breaking his collarbone. Last year, Kitna played in 10 games, and passed for 2,365 yards and 16 TDs.
He had a great perspective on being a professional, and on the role of a back up player in the NFL.
“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 earlier the season.
“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.’ ”
For his career, Kitna is just shy of 30,000 passing yards, with 169 TDs. He is 37th on the all time passing list, but ahead of some Hall-of-Famers like Len Dawson, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Namath.