Romo Confident, Ready for Next Challenge

With a strong training camp and six quarters of preseason experience under his belt, back up quarterback Tony Romo is back at Valley Ranch with more confidence than ever before.

Tony Romo must feel like a new man.

After staying out of the spotlight for most of his three-year career in the National Football League, he now finds himself to be the center of attention in the Cowboys' locker room.


Well for starters he's the clear No. 2 quarterback behind Drew Bledsoe. There is no more competition for the job now that the Cowboys are trying to trade third string signal caller Drew Henson.

In addition, he's also performed remarkably well in his six quarters of preseason action. In fact, he's done so well that many have suggested the Cowboys could be walking directly into a quarterback controversy at some point during the 2006 season.

"It's been unbelievable," Romo said of the amount of attention he's received in recent days. "The last two games I've felt more and more comfortable. I feel like I'm ready to go so I guess that's why more people are starting to notice."

Still, there is much work to be done.

In fact, Bill Parcells offered some words of wisdom for Romo on Wednesday.

"I think he's an improved player," he said. "He's a bright guy but there are things he doesn't get a hold of yet. He's getting the sense of the pressure there is to perform at that position. He's starting to get a sense for it. I think he likes it."

One of the key "issues" in Parcells' mind this week is the fact that Romo wore a glove on his throwing hand in Monday's 30-7 win over New Orleans. The glove, which Romo said helped him think about his grip on the ball less, led to a fumble that set up the Saints only score of the game.

Romo said he's used the glove before and has a certain comfort level with it.

"I just felt like I could control the ball better in the rain," he said. "The reason I like wearing the glove is you don't think about how the ball feels in your hand. I don't want to think about my throwing motion or hwo the ball feels in my hand when I see a guy open downfield."

Even so, Parcells would have none of it during his press conference Wednesday saying, "Have you seen him wear the glove before (to the media)?"

"He's always on you," Romo said of Parcells. "I'm still trying to play that perfect game so he can't stay on me all the next week."

Despite the fumble, Romo's numbers have been off the charts during the preseason. In six quarters, he's completed 25-of-33 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

And now that he's returning home to Dallas for the first time in nearly a month, he's already looking forward to Saturday's home preseason opener against the 49ers.

"It was nice to sleep in my bed last night," he said. "It will be fun to play in front of the crowd here on Saturday and not being on the road. You're at a comfort level at home. You know what's it going to be like on game days."

Of course, if that comfort level helps him play better than what we've seen during his first two preseason games this year, lookout.

The Cowboys could have a quarterback controversy on their hands whether they like it or not.

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