Dallas Cowboys: Should Jon Kitna Start Over Tony Romo?

Jason Henry@thenprojectCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 05: Jon Kitna #3 of the Dallas Cowboys talks with Jason Garrett during a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 5, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

Yesterday, the Dallas Cowboys beat the Indianapolis Colts and maybe ruined the Colts' shot at making the playoffs. Colts starting quarterback Peyton Manning threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. The Cowboys' defense has a bend, but don’t break type of style now and it seemed to work against Indy yesterday.

Dallas gave up 405 total yards with 365 coming from brother Manning. But maybe the biggest story coming from yesterday’s game was Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna and not Manning’s four turnovers.

Kitna was efficient, had no turnovers and he spread the ball around to six different receivers. He threw one touchdown and found Roy Williams on a fade route in the back of the endzone for a needed two-point conversion. So far this season, Kitna has 11 touchdowns and eight interceptions, with four of those picks coming against the Jags way back in Week 8.

But yesterday, as I’m tweeting my fingers off during the Cowboys game, a reoccurring theme kept coming up: Should Kitna have replaced Tony Romo earlier this season?

According to the statistics, Kitna and Romo are pretty much identical this year. Before Romo went down with a broken collar bone, he was in the process of trying to single-handedly save the Cowboys' season. Romo averaged 35 pass attempts per game and threw for over 1,600 yards in just six games.

Romo also tossed 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions, about the same as Kitna. Kitna’s quarterback rating is five points higher than Romo’s, as Romo's was 94 and Kitna’s is currently 99.

The knock against Romo, according to Twitter, is that he was turnover prone and not enough of a leader.

Yesterday, Cowboys kicker David Buehler missed a 48-yard field goal that would have extended the Cowboys' lead to 20-7. As soon as Buehler’s football sailed wide right, the Fox cameras showed a shot of an angry Kitna on the sideline. He was red with anger and showing a lot of fiery emotion.

According to Twitter, Romo never displayed that type of leadership and that’s what he needs to do in order to move the team forward.

Is that why Romo is hated so much? Because he’s always even-keeled and the cameras have never showed him cursing angrily on the sideline?

Last season, Romo had one of his best seasons, as he threw 26 touchdowns, nine interceptions and 4,483 yards.

Kitna’s best season as a pro you ask? In 2003 in Cincinnati, Kitna had 3,591 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. For his career, Kitna has 163 interceptions and 159 picks, which leads me to believe that he’s turnover prone.

Romo has a difference of 56-plus between his touchdowns and interceptions. Now, I’m no math major, but I believe that Romo’s stats alone qualify him to keep his job.

Kitna has done a serviceable job in replacing Romo, but there is no way that he should replace Romo next season as starter.

Before his injury, Jason Garrett was a pass-happy offensive coordinator who couldn’t pass the ball enough with Romo. But, as soon as former head coach Wade Phillips was fired, Garrett was promoted to head coach and Kitna became starter; Garrett found running religion and his play calling has been balanced. Yesterday, Kitna threw the ball 26 times, while Garrett dialed up 46 rushing plays.

When Kitna attempted as many passes as Romo, he was responsible for too many turnovers. As long as Garrett keeps Kitna's attempts under 30 and continues to feed the ball to Tashard Choice and Felix Jones, then Kitna will be okay.

However, Romo is the Cowboys' quarterback now and he should continue to keep that title moving forward.




Be sure to catch Jason’s radio show “Monday Night Quarterback” every Monday night at 8pm ET on www.blogtalkradio.com/cowboyjay.

Follow Jason on twitter @THenProject