Jon Kitna, 41, is returning to the NFL. Following Tony Romo’s season-ending back injury, the Dallas Cowboys needed a warm body to back up Kyle Orton. On Tuesday, Kitna texted Jason Garrett to inform the coach that he was available.
“I told Jason if he wants me or somebody to come in and call a play and be able to pull a play off if a bad situation happened, I would be willing to do that,” Kitna said.
After a phone conversation, Garrett decided that Kitna was his man. The Cowboys signed him to a reported $53,000 contract for Christmas week.
Kitna, who is currently a teacher and football coach at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Wash., will use the money to generously cap off the holiday season. He told radio play-by-play voice Brad Sham and fellow teammates that he will donate his entire paycheck to Lincoln High.
Kitna last suited up for the Cowboys in 2011, so he’s only been out of the game for one year. Part of the selling point for Garrett was that Kitna is still active with the high school team he coaches.
“He said he would run scout team for the high school team and give them a really good look like he gave us great looks when he was here,” Garrett said. “So he’s a very active guy. He’s a mentally tough guy. … And he’s certainly very young at heart. So it was good to have him back, good to have him back in the meetings, and [I’m] excited to see him practice today.”
The Cowboys will play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Dec. 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Winner will capture the division and head to the playoffs.