The Dallas Cowboys’ season-ending loss to the Detroit Lions last year is vivid in my mind. At 9-6, the Cowboys were playing for a higher seed in the playoffs. We came in looking like the most unprepared team for a pitiful 2-13 Lions squad. Mike Furrey (11 catches, 102 yards, one touchdown) and Roy Williams (six catches, 104 yards, two touchdowns) embarrassed the Cowboys. Jon Kitna threw four touchdowns, leading the Lions to a 39-31 win. But what irked Dallas fans even more after that game was Kitna’s mouth. During a radio interview in Seattle, Kitna didn’t talk highly of the Cowboys team he just dismantled.
On the linebackers:
“We didn’t feel like their interior linebackers were very effective. We hit backs out of the backfield, checking the ball down. Usually, you’ll check the ball down for five, six yards, and it was going for 10, 15, 20 yards sometimes on checkdowns.”
Pressuring the quarterback:
“They’re not going to get a lot of pressure on the quarterback. When they get pressure on the quarterback, it’s going to be when the quarterback is in a seven-step mode and waiting on things downfield.”
But here’s the kicker:
“There were some times that we were watching on film before we played Dallas that we really felt like No. 56, some times I don’t know that he knew where he was at.”
That No. 56 is linebacker Bradie James. And Mr. James hasn’t forgotten these words. He tells Nick Eatman that he had this game circled on his calendar because of Kitna’s “classless” comments. This is the same Kitna who wore a naked-man suit, and his wife dressed as the Wendy’s mascot, to make fun of one of their coaches who got into a little naked trouble.
“It bothers me and it bothers a lot of guys on the defensive side of the ball. I just didn’t understand where it was coming from. I thought it was classless. Yeah, they beat us. So what? It was over with. He was at home and we were still playing.
“It’s not in the back of my brain, it’s on my brain,” James said of Kitna. “It’s on a lot of our minds. The best thing about it is we get to play these guys this year.
“Just to hear a quarterback talking about another player – it breaks the code. We don’t talk about each other. It’s like a blindside. I was like, ‘Where did that come from and I don’t even know the guy.’ But he will get to know me here in a few more days. We’re looking forward to that.”
Seems to me Kitna is in a world of trouble this Sunday, don’t you think?