In his first NFL action in almost two years, Jon Kitna immediately served notice of one thing Monday night at Cowboys Stadium:
When starting quarterback Tony Romo went down with a broken collar bone, the Cowboys' season swirled down the toilet with him.
Kitna's stats don't look awful: 16 of 33 for 187 yards and two touchdowns in the 41-35 loss to the New York Giants. But look closer and see that - when it was still a game - he was absolutely harmless.
On his first six drives after Romo exited in the second quarter, Kitna failed to produce a first down. While he was going 5 of 10 for only 25 yards, the Cowboys saw a 13-point lead hideously morph into an 18-point deficit.
Kitna helped his cause with two too-little-too-late touchdowns to Dez Bryant, but he amassed 162 of his 187 passing yards after the game had eroded into fourth-quarter garbage time.
The Cowboys have always had catastrophic quarterback moments against the Giants.
Hall of Famer Troy Aikman threw a career-high five interceptions in New Jersey in 2000. In '01 backup Clint Stoerner topped that by tossing four picks in the second half of a loss to the Giants. In '86 Danny White broke his wrist against New York, sending his 6-2 team into a spiral that ended 7-9 and out of the playoffs. And in '06 Drew Bledsoe threw a late first-half interception against New York, effectively ending his NFL career and getting him replaced by a guy named Tony Romo.
We'll get some calls and yelps for Stephen McGee this week and why not? At 1-5 and with Romo out at least six weeks, this season is deader than A-Rod's aura. Kitna was bad, but not nearly the worst in Cowboys' history ...
10. Tony Banks
Heralded as Troy Aikman's successor in '01, he was beat out by Quincy Carter and cut in training camp
9. Ryan Leaf
Ugly '01 stint included one TD, three picks and a 57.7 rating
8. Reggie Collier
Spot duty in '86 resulted in two interceptions and a 55.8 rating
7. Drew Henson
Former Michigan star was harmless in short Dallas gig, throwing only one TD and one interception
6. Kevin Sweeney
'87 scab hero faltered in '88 with 42-percent completions, five interceptions and 40.2 rating
5. Anthony Wright
'00 cameo littered with no TDs, three interceptions and a 31.7 rating
4. Clint Stoerner
Threw four picks in the second half of an '01 loss at the Giants
3. John Roach
Filled in for Don Meredith in '64 with one TD, six interceptions and a 31.1 rating
2. Brad Johnson
Somehow went 1-2 in a three-game stint in '08, though his woeful performance against the lowly Rams (27.3 rating) helped keep the Cowboys out of the playoffs.
1. Babe Laufenberg
Backed up Aikman in '90 with one TD, six interceptions and a woeful 16.9 rating.
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