Grades: Cowboys Romp Panthers

Bill Parcells said he made the quarterback switch because he felt Tony Romo gave the Cowboys a better chance to win than the immobile and mistake-prone Drew Bledsoe. At least for one game he was right.

PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Tony Romo passed for 270 yards. He got good protection up front. But he also bought time with his mobility and quick release. Terrell Owens had a season high nine catches for 107 yards. Tight end Jason Witten also recorded season highs with six catches for 80 yards.

RUSHING OFFENSE: A -- The Cowboys were very strong on the ground. Julius Jones rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown. Marion Barber added 49 yards and two touchdowns.

PASS DEFENSE: A -- Dangerous receiver Steve Smith recorded six catches but no big plays through the air. He and the other Panthers receivers dropped a lot of passes. But cornerback Terence Newman did a good job covering Smith with Cover 2 help over the top. Greg Ellis notched two sacks. Quarterback Jake Delhomme passed for just 149 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Panthers tallied just 76 yards on the ground. Most of that came on an end around by receiver Steve Smith that went for a 24-yard touchdown. Credit nose tackle Jason Ferguson for bottling thing up in the middle of the defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A -- Tyson Thompson jump-started the comeback with a 37-yard kickoff return. The Cowboys also forced two Panthers fumbles on kickoff returns, with one resulting in a turnover. Matt McBriar averaged 48.3 yards per punt and kicker Mike Vanderjagt made field goals of 38 and 24 yards.

COACHING: A -- Bill Parcells said he made the quarterback switch because he felt Tony Romo gave the Cowboys a better chance to win than the immobile and mistake-prone Drew Bledsoe. At least for one game he was right. Romo made the right plays and extended plays, something Bledsoe could never do. He was also unflappable for a player making his first start.

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