It’s old news now, but a few weeks ago, backup TE Martellus Bennett made a comment that he felt there should be an open competition between Tony Romo and Jon Kitna to be the team’s starting QB in 2011 (if there is a 2011 season). Specifically, he said this:
“Kitna is one of my favorite people to play with,” Bennett said Tuesday on ESPN/103.3 FM’s Ben & Skin Show. “Just being out there on the field with that guy just makes you play even harder.
“He made some things happen in limited time, so I think if he got a longer chance, he’d be able to do more. I hope there’s a chance for a quarterback competition this year.”
So why am I bringing this up now? Because it won’t go away. Now, former Colts and Rams running back, and current NFL Network analyst, Marshall Faulk says that Bennett is right. Forgetting the fact that Bennett, a 2008 second round pick, has been, to this point in his career, a disappointment, does any of this make any sense?
Jon Kitna was brought in solely as an insurance policy. Everyone buys insurance in case they need it, with the hope that they never will. Well, the Cowboys needed Kitna last season after Romo was injured. Now, conventional wisdom holds that a starter doesn’t lose his job because of an injury, but is that what this is really about, or does Bennett just like Kitna better? It’s not like the coaches have hinted at the possibility of a competition. As far as I know, Bennett is the only one affiliated with the team to suggest this. It would be up to a coach to determine if demoting a starter post-injury or holding an open competition was necessary. The obviously funny thing about all of this is that Bennett will likely be fighting for a spot on the team himself, as he has not shown that he can be Jason Witten’s primary backup.
Kitna will be 39 this season. He’s not a long term solution to any quarterback problem, real or perceived. What happens if they had a competition and he beats out Romo? What if he decides to retire after this season? Then you’re back to Romo again. I can’t see any good coming from that. It would just put unnecessary strain on the team. And it’s not like Kitna didn’t know Dallas needed him to be the backup. If that were the case, he would have said or done something by now. He didn’t even play a down in 2009, after all, so he must be okay with being the backup at this point in his career.
I don’t have a problem with the general mindset of “there is an open competition for every position,” since the best players should play, but for Bennett to basically call out Romo makes no sense to me. And for people who think Kitna outplayed Romo in 2010, just look at the stats and reconsider your opinion. I think Bennett should do the same.