Conference Call: Romo, Phillips

So what did Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and coach Wade Phillips have to say Wednesday to the Chicago Bears media during their conference calls at Halas Hall? JC was there and has the scoop.

Romo knows what Cutler is going through
With Jay Cutler spending time in New York this week with Kristin Cavallari, pretty much solidifying the fact that the Bears quarterback and the star of "The Hills" are an item, all of a sudden he's being covered by the likes of People and Star Magazine, not just ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

If Cutler is looking for any advice on how to handle his new-found fame in the tabloid world, he needs to look no further than the Cowboys sideline Sunday when Chicago travels to Dallas in Week 2.

Tony Romo spent the better part of two years in a relationship with singer, actress and buffalo-wing detractor Jessica Simpson, which ended up getting more attention in supermarket check-out lines than it did in NFL locker rooms.

"It's all what each person makes it out to be," Romo said Wednesday via conference call at Halas Hall, when asked what Cutler can expect of the inevitable attention from the paparazzi. "It just is what it is. I don't know if there's anything more or less to it. I think that the reality of it just is that more people will say or have opinions, more than anything else."

Despite the fact that Simpson is from Abilene, Texas, Cowboys fans grew to loathe the distraction that her presence created, especially when she and Romo were spotted in Cabo San Lucas before a playoff game against the Giants, a game heavily-favored Dallas ended up losing at home.

"At the end of the day," said Romo, "you either develop a turtle shell to what people who really don't matter think about you, or you don't and you let it affect you. You just have to be able to put blinders on, have tunnel vision and go out and continue to work and do what makes you be good at what you do. And I just think that stuff is just fluff. It really doesn't matter anyway. It's just stuff for people to talk about, really."

Romo has stepped back from the spotlight and is currently dating Candice Crawford, who was his high school sweetheart back in Burlington, Wisconsin – actually, no, she is a former Miss Missouri and went on to finish in the top 10 for Miss USA 2008.

Phillips not overreacting to loss in Week 1
The Cowboys headed into the 2010 campaign expecting to have one of the more dynamic offenses in the league, led by Romo and a pass-catching corps that includes Miles Austin, tight end Jason Witten and rookie Dez Bryant.


Wade Phillips
Denis Poroy/AP

But Dallas ended up losing its opener 13-7 to Washington despite putting up 380 total yards, which had something to do with the fact that American's Team was flagged 12 times for 91 yards – including a holding call on the final play that negated a game-winning TD pass from Romo to Roy Williams.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips defended Alex Barron, who was the guilty party and had an awful performance overall, saying he was thrust into action at right tackle in the absence of former Bear Marc Colombo.

"I think we had some problems in the ballgame," Phillips said Wednesday, "but Alex Barron's been playing, and in fact he was fighting it out with Doug [Free] to play left tackle. And then he had to play right tackle because of an injury. He's still working at that position, but I think he'll get better and better."

As far as the Dallas ground game is concerned, while Marion Barber, Felix Jones and Tashard Choice got eight, eight and five attempts, respectively, against the Redskins, Phillips isn't waiting for one to emerge as "the guy" going forward.

"I like what we did," he said. "Both [Barber and Jones] averaged almost five yards a carry in the game, so I thought we did a pretty good job with it. I think I'm looking forward to maybe them getting a few more carries. But other than that, I thought we looked pretty good for what we're doing."

Defensively, the Cowboys were terrific in Washington, allowing only 250 total yards, 17 first downs and 25:57 of possession to Donovan McNabb and Co.


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John Crist is the Publisher of BearReport.com, a Heisman Trophy voter and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.


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