different. Maybe he has found the Fountain of Youth, and doesn't need much work, if any, to remain sharp. But some, right, maybe even a bunch with five preseason games to play? That's what concerns me. History will do that to you.
Brad Johnson had been starting, just as Kitna, before arriving in Dallas in 2007. But at age 39, all he played at quarterback that season was the final half versus Washington, completing 7 of 11 passes. In essence, he didn't play at all.
Then in 2008, after the prolonged inactivity, Johnson was needed when Romo suffered the fractured finger. At age 40, he started three games, completing 41 of 78 passes for only 427 yards, two touchdowns and five interceptions, with a 50.5 QB rating. Clearly in just two seasons and all that inactivity, Johnson had lost his touch, and the Cowboys barely won one of his three starts, significant in a season they missed the playoffs by essentially one victory.
And does anyone remember Paul Justin? Maybe not since he was way forgettable. The free-agent signee in 2000 never made it out of training camp, the Cowboys realizing no way could this guy at age 32 back up Troy Aikman, causing them to go sign another quarterback right before the start of the season, Randall Cunningham. Justin had 10 previous starts in his career, but only three in the previous two seasons before arriving in Dallas - none in 1999. And that year, he completed just nine of 14 passes - 3 of 7 in Game 15 - and threw only one touchdown pass.
Not sure if he ever had it in the first place or if inactivity caused scar tissue to grow on his career. He was toast.
Maybe Kitna is the exception, and the Cowboys must hope so if he's forced to play downs of consequence this season, because Stephen McGee certainly isn't ready, not by a long shot. Seems to me, unless the backup is an up-and-comer, sort of like Romo behind Drew Bledsoe in 2006, never having to play significant downs is best for an aging veteran quarterback. That way if there indeed is a cat in the bag it's never let out.
Who knows, maybe it's these 100-degree days giving me think stroke, you know, over-analyzing since everyone else seems only concerned with Doug Free replacing Flozell Adams, Alan Ball replacing Ken Hamlin, David Buehler becoming the fulltime kicker, if Felix should start over Marion, if Patrick Crayton will be - should be - here, how soon Dez Bryant takes snaps away from Roy Williams and just who will be the fourth corner.
But you know what, if Romo goes down and Kitna isn't what we all think he is, without having seen any tangible evidence in more than a year and a half, then all those above worries will be rendered moot. Simply watching is not a quarterback's best friend.
Cowboys' QB Trio No. 3?
Keep the faith.