IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys remain concerned about backup quarterback Jon Kitna’s back injury, but owner and general manager Jerry Jones was noncommittal when asked if the team would be interested in Donovan McNabb.
The Minnesota Vikings will grant McNabb his release, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. The Cowboys attempted to claim quarterback Kyle Orton off of waivers when the Denver Broncos cut him last week, but he was awarded to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I don’t know,” Jones said when informed of McNabb’s release and asked whether the Cowboys would be interested in the 13-year veteran quarterback. “You’re telling me something that I didn’t know. We are just … where we are is where we are today. We thought Orton had experience in our system, and he did. We thought he fit pretty good.”
As was the case with Orton, the Chicago Bears’ potential interest in McNabb is another possible reason for the Cowboys to consider claiming the longtime Philadelphia Eagles star. The Bears, a wild card contender, are starting inexperienced Caleb Hanie at quarterback with Jay Cutler out for possibly the rest of the season after thumb surgery.
However, Jones has said the concern about Kitna’s back injury was the primary reason the Cowboys attempted to add Orton. Kitna hasn’t practiced or played since beginning to experience serious back pain more than two weeks ago, and it's possible the injury could sideline him for the season. Stephen McGee, who has one career start, is the only healthy quarterback on the roster other than Tony Romo.
“We certainly are keeping an eye on where Kitna can be and potentially is,” Jones said. “I don’t know; no one knows. We’re not ready to move on from there, either.
“I made the run at Orton. That was something we thought about a lot. If it had worked, then it would have kind of eliminated some of the questions that we had with Kitna. Still, we’re where we are and I hope that the backup quarterback, the veteran quarterback issue isn’t the issue that it can be.”
Coach Jason Garrett indicated earlier this week that the Cowboys could make a decision on Kitna’s status the remainder of the season by mid-December.
“You shouldn’t hang your hat on two weeks, at all,” Jones said. “That’s fluid, too, as to when we’d make a decision on that. We’ll just see how it goes. The longer you go, the less you need the backup quarterback. When you’re down to the last two games, then that’s not quite the deal as if you were looking ahead at six or seven.”