Dallas Cowboys: Top 10 Offseason Trades in the 21st Century

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 07: Center Travis Frederick
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 07: Center Travis Frederick /
7 of 11
ARLINGTON, TX – NOVEMBER 21: Quarterback Jon Kitna
ARLINGTON, TX – NOVEMBER 21: Quarterback Jon Kitna /

5. Jon Kitna Trade (February 2009)

Cowboys received

Jon Kitna

Lions received

Anthony Henry

Every quarterback that starts for the same team for a long period of time will have backups that make their way into the team lore. Roger Staubach had Clint Longley and Danny White while Troy Aikman had Rodney Peete and Jason Garret. Well, Tony Romo had guys like Jon Kitna in his little black book.

Jon Kitna made a name for himself starting on some of the most horrid teams in NFL history. His career began as an undrafted member of the Seattle Seahawks in 1997. He had some decent seasons there and even led Seattle to the playoffs in 1999. He was let go in 2000 and quickly signed by the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kitna’s years with the Bengals were largely forgettable. He went through some rough years and eventually was succeeded by Carson Palmer. In 2006, he joined the Detroit Lions.

His luck worsened when joining the Lions as 2006 was an atrocious  3-13 year. In 2007 the team improved to 7-9, but in 2008 the Detroit Lions completed the NFL’s first 0-16 season. Kitna contributed to four of those losses.

Needless to say, he was a perfect fit for this millennium’s Dallas Cowboys.

The Cowboys acquired Jon Kitna in a trade with the Lions for defensive back Anthony Henry in February 2009.

Henry spent four solid years with the Cowboys before being traded to Detroit. The 2009 season would ultimately be his last.

Jon Kitna, meanwhile, did his job as Tony Romo’s backup. Romo took every snap of the 2009 season, not leaving Kitna with much to do.

He got his chance to prove his worth in 2010 when Tony Romo was lost for the season in week seven for the season with an injury. Kitna started nine games in 2010 and compiled a 4-5 record with 16 touchdowns with 12 interceptions. It was a decent year and he emerged as a fan favorite despite a dismal season.

2011 proved to be a more hands-off year for Kitna. He only played in three games and a back injury forced him to retire at the end of the season.

Kitna came back for one game in 2013 to sit in as Kyle Orton’s backup in the 2013 season finale in which Tony Romo was injured.