The Cowboys got Kitna from Detroit for starting cornerback Anthony Henry. Kitna appeared in only four games last season for the Lions, starting in all of those before being put on injured reserve in mid-October because of a back injury.
The day before the Lions put Kitna on injured reserve, he said his injury wasn't that serious and that he expected to play again during the season. He threw for 758 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions.
The 36-year-old Kitna, who was due a $1 million roster bonus next week, was not expected to return to the Lions. Kitna, scheduled to make $1.95 million this season, has played 12 NFL seasons with Seattle (1997-2000), Cincinnati (2001-05) and Detroit (2006-08).
When Romo missed three games last season because of a broken pinkie, the Cowboys went 1-2 and leaned heavily on their defense to beat Tampa Bay 13-9 for the lone victory. The Cowboys, who went into the season considered a Super Bowl favorite, instead went 9-7 and missed the playoffs.
Dallas released 17-year veteran quarterback Brad Johnson on Thursday.
Henry started all 16 games for Dallas last season. Orlando Scandrick or Mike Jenkins, both rookies last season, could be in position to take over the starting job.
Kitna could have an interesting introduction to a couple of Dallas defenders.
In the 2006 regular-season finale, Kitna threw four touchdowns passes in a 39-31 victory that wrapped up a 3-13 season for the Lions. In an interview the following week with a radio station in Seattle, where the Cowboys had to go for the playoffs, Kitna called out the Dallas defense, notably cornerback Terence Newman and linebacker Bradie James.
Before the 2007 game Dallas won, Newman indicated during a radio interview his desire for revenge on Kitna. That came about the same time James said the game had been circled on his calendar all year.
"Y'all can ask me about Jon Kitna every day from here on out the rest of my life and I will get fired up," James said then. "He talked like we weren't ever going to play them again."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press