Jon Kitna: 5 Things to Know About the New Cowboys QBs Coach
It’s official. The Cowboys have announced former quarterback Jon Kitna is returning to the team, this time as the QBs coach. Here are 5 Things to Know About Kitna:
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Kitna Is One of Five Former Cowboys Players on the Current Coaching Staff
The addition of Jon Kitna brings the total number of former Cowboys players on the current coaching staff to five. Three of those five are former QBs: Head Coach Jason Garrett (1993-1999), Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore (2015-2017), and Kitna (2009-11, 2013).
Also, on the offensive side of the ball: Offensive Line Coach Marc Colombo (2005-2010). The lone former Cowboys’ player on the defensive side of the ball is Defensive Tackle Coach Leon Lett (1991-2000).
Kitna Was a World Bowl MVP in NFL Europe
After spending his 1996 NFL rookie season on the Seahawks practice squad, Kitna was allocated by the Seahawks to NFL Europe. Kitna thrived during the 1997 season with the Barcelona Dragons, leading the team to a World Bowl Championship and earning the title game’s MVP honors.
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Kitna Spent 16 Seasons in the NFL, Including Two Separate Stints with the Cowboys
Kitna was a star college player in the NAIA at Central Washington, but was undrafted in 1996. He signed as a rookie free agent with the Seahawks, made their practice squad, was sent to NFL Europe in 1997, then returned to the U.S. to settle-in for a long career in the NFL that included 124 starts in 138 games for four different teams: Seahawks (1996-2000), Bengals (2001-2005), Lions (2006-2008), and Cowboys (2009-2011).
He retired after the 2011 season due to a back injury. But in December, 2013 the Cowboys needed an emergency backup QB because Tony Romo was out with an injury. Head Coach Jason Garrett called Kitna who, at that time, was the head football coach at nearby Waxahachie High School.
Kitna never got called into the game, but was ready just in case starter Kyle Orton suffered an injury.
Dak Prescott currently has 10,876 career passing yards. He needs 18,869 more to reach the same number of passing yards as his QBs coach. Kitna finished his career with 29,745 passing yards with 169 TDs and a 77.4 passer rating.
Kitna Coached Three Different High School Teams After Leaving the NFL
After retiring from the NFL in 2012, Kitna coached at his alma mater, Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington. In 2015, he returned to the Dallas area to take over the football program at Waxahachie High School for three seasons.
In 2018, Kitna moved to Phoenix, Arizona to become the head coach at Brophy Prep where he took the team to the playoffs just one year after the program had finished 1-9 before his arrival.
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Kitna Was Set to Coach in a New Pro Football League That Debuts February 9th
Kitna played for many excellent coaches during his NFL career including the likes of Mike Holmgren, Dennis Erickson, Mike Sherman, and Mike Martz.
Martz is the head coach of the San Diego Fleet, one of the teams in the new pro league called the Alliance of American Football (AAF). Martz hired Kitna to be his offensive coordinator. But before the AAF could kickoff this spring, Kitna got the call from the Cowboys where he returns to work with Quarterbacks Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, and Mike White.