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Garrett: Backup QB "Important Decision"

IRVING, Texas --Head coach Jason Garrett confirmed what has been expected for weeks, perhaps even months: backup quarterback Jon Kitna won't be back in 2012.

"He's retired and in Seattle and enjoying life after football," Garrett said Thursday. "We have a decision to make there."

Pretty simple: will the team elevate Stephen McGee to No. 2 status behind Tony Romo, or shop for another veteran with starting experience?

The Cowboys went the veteran route with Kitna from 2009-11 and previously with Brad Johnson from 2007-08. In three career appearances, McGee is 46-of-82 (56.1) for 420 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions for an 82.4 rating. Only once -- his lone start in the 2010 finale at Philadelphia -- did he get actual first-team practice reps.

"It's a very important position," Garrett said. "As we all know you want to make sure you allocate the resources necessary to that spot. Jon Kitna was great for us the last three years.

"Stephen McGee has gotten some real good experience the last couple of years, playing in games and we'll continue to evaluate his progress. We like what he's done but it's an important decision."

The Cowboys could always draft a quarterback for the first time since McGee in the 2009 fourth round. But they might not want to devote a draft pick to the position with needs on defense and the offensive line.

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