Kitna Expects More

IRVING, Tex. - By The Dallas Cowboys head into Green Bay's Lambeau Field Sunday sporting a 1-6 record. A season that many figured would end with the Cowboys becoming the first team in NFL history to play in a Super Bowl on its home field.

That goal — or even making the playoffs — is not mathematically impossible, but to say it's unlikely is an understatement. However, with that said, some of the so-called experts who have broken down Sunday's Dallas-Green Bay game have suggested that the Cowboys, whose record would have made them underdogs even if Tony Romo were healthy and guiding the offense, have zero chance because Jon Kitna now holds the reins on the Dallas offense.

Those prognosticators need to pay more attention. Yes, Kitna threw four interceptions in Sunday's loss to Jacksonville, and yes, he is 38, but he is hardly the team's prime cause for concern.

Of his four interceptions, three bounced off a receiver's hands, and of those three, at least two were very catchable passes. His numbers — Kitna completed 34 of 49 passes for 379 yards (the third-highest passing yardage total in his career) — were not Hall of Fame-worthy, but hardly mediocre. During the game, Kitna passed Joe Namath on the NFL's list of career passing yards. He went over the 300-yard mark for the 13th time in his career, and if his receivers had caught the passes that hit them — or even knocked them down and kept those drives alive — he surely would have eclipsed the 400-yard plateau.

"I think the thing that's killing us now is turnovers," Kitna said. "We've got to get possession of the ball.

"I learned when I started playing in the league: you get an ‘A' when you win, and an ‘F' when you lose. We have got to play better."

Critics also have suggested this week that Kitna is an obstacle the Dallas offense must overcome because he hasn't played much at all since being acquired before the 2009 season in a trade with the Detroit Lions. Kitna disagrees with the notion that he is unfamiliar with the system just because he has stood on the sideline and watched Romo.

"I'm pretty comfortable in the (offensive) system," Kitna said. "We've just got to find things that are working well, and run those. When we find what we're doing well, we have to continue to emphasize those things."

Kitna said he was disappointed with the interceptions, but without pointing the finger of blame at any of his teammates, he didn't sound overly upset about his own performance, but he acknowledged that like the team as a whole, his performance also can get better.

"My job is to give us a chance to win," he said. "I played about like I expected to play — pretty quick … I felt comfortable.

"Everyone wants to keep bringing up the tipped balls. I take ownership of those. I could have thrown the ball better in each one of those instances. I have to put the ball in an easy position for the receivers. That's my job."

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