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Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna was signed by the Dallas Cowboys Wednesday as their emergency backup after reports that starter Tony Romo has been lost for the season with a back injury.

Kitna, 41, will serve as backup to Kyle Orton, who could get the start on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

The winner of that game will be the NFC East champion. The loser will miss the playoffs. The game will air at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on NBC.

Kitna retired in 2011. He s currently a teacher and the head coach at Lincoln High School in Tacoma.

Kitna will donate his paycheck from the Cowboys about $53,000 -- to Lincoln High School.

Kitna sent a text message Tuesday morning to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett, and the two would talk by phone for 30 minutes, he said.

I told Jason if he wants me or somebody to come in and call a play and be able to pull a play off if a bad situation happened, I would be willing to do that, Kitna told The Dallas Morning News

Kitna appeared in three games for the Cowboys in 2011 and has started 124 games overall for Seattle, Cincinnati, Detroit and Dallas.

He's a very active guy, Garrett said Wednesday. He's a mentally tough guy. And he's certainly very young at heart. So it was good to have him back, good to have him back in the meetings, and (I'm) excited to see him practice today.

ESPN s Adam Schefter, citing sources, first reported Monday that Romo would miss the rest of the season and playoffs with a herniated disk suffered in the Cowboys win last week over the Washington Redskins.

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says he has not ruled out Romo, although the quarterback did not practice Wednesday.

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