Stephen McGee says he's improved

IRVING, Texas -- When Cowboys backup quarterback Jon Kitna retired, the door opened for Stephen McGee to move up the depth chart.

However, the Cowboys signed Kyle Orton in free agency to back up Tony Romo. While the signing was disappointing for McGee, the former Texas A&M quarterback, it also sent him a message.

"Obviously, you don't have to like it," McGee said Friday. "But this is the NFL. It's a business and Kyle is a great player and I understand that I've got to make the most of the situation and continue to go back to and get better as a player and prepare for any opportunity that comes along."

If the Cowboys keep just two quarterbacks, it's likely that McGee is the odd man out. He would have to outperform Orton in practices and preseason games to become the No. 2 or force the franchise to go with three quarterbacks.

As he enters his fourth NFL season, McGee has played in just three games, completing 56.1 percent of his passes for 420 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He's mobile and has a good arm, but in practices and preseason games he has struggled to get the ball downfield.

McGee said he's getting better at the position each year, but he might need to prove himself as a vital player as he enters the last year of his contract.

"I just control things that I can control," he said. "My focus has always been to get better as a player and worry about making me a better football player. I feel like I'm making improvements every day and continue to do that."