ARLINGTON, Texas -- Stephen McGee saw his first snaps of the year with the Cowboys’ first-team offense, whether in a game or in practice, after Tony Romo went out with a bruised right hand in the first quarter of Saturday’s loss to Philadelphia.
McGee finished with 182 yards on 24-of-38 passing He was sacked three times and ran four times for 28 yards. He had a touchdown pass – 4 yards to Miles Austin with seven seconds left – and was not intercepted.
“I don’t get many reps and obviously basically never in a real game,” McGee said. “I had fun going out there and competing. I felt a lot more comfortable after the last drive from where I started. I felt like I made progress throughout the game and saw things well. I didn’t miss any hots and stuff. I think that was definitely better than last year.”
With Jon Kitna likely retiring after the season, McGee has a chance to become the No. 2 quarterback in 2012.
“Tonight is so unfair to bring a guy in that has had so few snaps, but I saw some things out there with Stephen tonight that were impressive,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “He has made great strides in his instinct, he has made great strides with his feel. I think that’s going to serve him well. You can see that he’s got a good arm and can also make time, buy time. I’m not sure where we are. We wanted to keep Kitna as long as there was hope. There wasn’t.”
McGee understands Saturday was a trial run in some ways.
“You always have to show them,” McGee said. “We talk about that every day. You have to show every day in practice and the scout team and the way I run that huddle, how I throw routes on air, how I handle meetings. You have to show them that you want to be here, that you’re hungry; that you love being a Dallas Cowboy. That’s not just a game thing. Obviously the game is what it eventually comes down to, but I think your approach is really important and I think hopefully they see that in me.”