I know many of you have been anxiously awaiting my official scouting report on 38-year-old Dallas Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna. It had been so long since we'd seen him receive any meaningful playing time, it's easy to forget that he once put up some pretty impressive passing numbers -- especially against the Cowboys.
In the final game of the '06 regular-season, Kitna walked into Texas Stadium and hung 306 passing yards and four touchdowns on a Bill Parcells playoff team. Some of you might recall the comical sight of Lions wide receiver Mike Furrey firing a football at an ornamental star following a touchdown catch, causing it to fall to the ground. As far as we know, Furrey was never sent the bill for repairs. By the way, Roy Williams had six catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns for the Lions in a 39-31 win that day. It allowed Detroit to finish 3-13 and led to Kitna famously calling out Cowboys linebacker Bradie James on a Seattle radio station.
Kitna threw for more than 4,000 yards in both '06 and '07, with half of those yards coming in two games against the Cowboys. (Joking.) He threw for 39 touchdowns and 42 interceptions in those two seasons with the Lions. Believe it or not, the Lions were actually 6-2 at one point in the '07 season with Kitna at the helm. But to add some more perspective to the Kitna scouting report, I asked former NFL scout and current Scouts Inc. writer Matt Williamson to say a few words. Matt, I'll turn it over to you now:
"We haven't seen much of Kitna recently, so just how much his skills have eroded is a bit of a guess," said Williamson. "But he is a tough guy who will stand in the pocket to take a hit and has the respect of his teammates. He has/had a good arm and isn't afraid to take chances. In fact, he takes way too many chances and makes a lot of bad decisions. He also isn't very mobile as a runner or within the confines of the pocket, which is a big problem behind this Dallas offensive line. Still, there is something to be said for knowing what it takes to be successful at this level. He has obviously been there, done that."
One final note on Kitna: I talked to him a couple of weeks ago about how he went through a five-year stretch ('03-08) where he battled elbow tendinitis. He never really made a big deal out of it because he didn't want anyone to suggest surgery. Kitna told me the tendinitis hasn't been a problem the past couple of years, but it's something that bears watching now that he'll be throwing the ball a lot more.