Familiar foe

Jon Kitna is going against his former team, but he doesn't have revenge in his heart.

He's too busy trying to lead the Cowboys on a renaissance.

One game does not a turnaround make, but the Cowboys are feeling good about their chances with Kitna heading into Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

The Cowboys are 2-7 after snapping a five-game losing streak with a 33-20 victory against the Giants on Sunday.

"No, not really," Kitna said when asked if it meant anything special to play his former team. "It's pretty exciting playing quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in general. Playing Detroit, it's a different regime and all that. There's very few guys left from when I was there. I enjoyed my time there. It didn't turn out the way we wanted it to, but I don't really feel like it's anything different this week."

Kitna completed 13 of 22 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns against the Giants, proving that at 38 years old he can still get the job done. He will make his fourth start against the Lions in place of an injured Tony Romo.

It was nice to see, considering how badly the Cowboys needed a win, but Kitna's performance came as no surprise to interim coach Jason Garrett. Garrett never doubted that Kitna still has the physical tools to get the job done.

"He has been pretty much what I thought," Garrett said. "I have always been impressed by him from afar. I only knew a little bit, but I knew of him a lot from people who I know played with him or coached him. You are impressed by his physical ability. You are impressed by his approach to the game. And being in a situation where you haven't played in a year and a half and getting thrown in the middle of the year, I thought he handled it quite well and probably the way I thought he would."

Wide receiver Roy Williams, Kitna's former teammate in Detroit, said Kitna was as good as Romo and could lead a miraculous turnaround.

"I already knew that," Williams said. "Everybody's so Romo friendly here. It's all they know. Romo, Romo, Romo, which is great. But he went down unfortunately, and there's a guy that I know of that can come in and be that guy, be the guy that he was last week and the guy that he was since he's been in the league. We didn't help him as an offense the first time he was in. Sunday we did. Just give him some protection, he's going to put that ball where it needs to be."

What the Cowboys like most about Kitna is his ability to lead and relate to everyone in the locker room.

"Kitna is like Muhammad Ali, he can communicate with anyone," tight end Martellus Bennett said. "No matter where you're from, what kind of background you come from, he can talk to you. That's huge for a quarterback. He is not a guy who is trying to lead. He is natural. You just gravitate to him. He's a guy you want to be around. You know what he stands for.

"He is not a hypocrite. You know you got a lot of guys who are hypocrites, especially on this team (with a chuckle). He's a guy who does what he says he is going to do."

SERIES HISTORY: 21st regular-season meeting. Cowboys lead series, 11-9. Dallas has won four of the last five meetings. Dallas won the last meeting 28-27 in 2007 in Detroit.

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