Parcells Optimistic with Romo

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells liked the way Tony Romo performed in his first start against Carolina.

But he is not satisfied and not going to let Romo get complacent or eat the cheese from the media.

As Romo was getting on the bus after the game, Parcells had a few words for him.

"I told him, 'You better be able to get back in the middle of the huddle on Wednesday and try to convince us you can move the team,'" Parcells said. "It's a little different after the game when you're standing over there with a clipboard, when you've actually played."

Parcells is actually not worried about Romo because he knows Romo "gets it." Romo understands where he came from. He understands how he got here. And it certainly wasn't by reading his own press clippings because he didn't have any prior to last week. Romo succeeded because he is a tireless worker who always believed in himself.

That is not going to change now.

Still, it's Parcells' job to make sure Romo keeps his feet on the ground, which he feels is necessary because of his strong opening performance.

"I thought there were some good things there," Parcells said. "He did buy himself some time from time to time and made some pretty good throws, couple of clutch throws that I thought were good. His game management could use a little work but for the first time out in that kind of situation, I'd say I was generally satisfied with that."

Call Parcells pleasantly satisfied but don't call him surprised. He has groomed Romo the last four years for this moment. He saw his work ethic in the film room and on the practice field. He saw his mobility and quick release. Romo displayed it all against the Panthers. He also showed he still has that gunslinger mentality with a first-quarter interception, which Parcells had warned Romo would get him benched as quick as anything.

"No, I've been seeing him do it for four years," Parcells said. "That ability is innate in the player. He has it. If you remember one of his first games, down in Arizona (2003), my first preseason game here, he went in there and avoided a couple of rushes and then he decided to flip to someone in the middle of the field and it got intercepted. That's not always an asset."

LEFTOVERS
PLAYER NOTES * SS Roy Williams was fined 10,000 by the NFL for a horse collar tackle on Giants running back Tiki Barber last Monday. It was the third time this season Williams has been fined for the league for illegal hits.

* RB Tyson Thompson was placed on injured reserve after undergoing surgery to repair a broken ankle. The Cowboys signed running back Keylon Kincaide off the practice to take Thompson place on the roster. Either cornerback Aaron Glenn or running back Skyler Green will take Thompson's place as the team's primary kickoff returner.

* FS Keith Davis and FS Marcus Coleman were used in tandem to place mistake prone rookie Pat Watkins in the starting line up against the Panthers. Davis playing on running downs and Coleman played in on nickel situations. The Cowboys did not give up any big plays against the Panthers, which had been a problem in recent weeks. The Cowboys used the rotation -- which was how they used Davis and Willie Pyle last season -- because they wanted to keep Davis fresh for special teams.

* WR Terrell Owens, CB Terence Newman, QB Tony Romo and K Mike Vanderjagt played a prank on receivers coach Todd Haley on the team charter home from Charlotte. The group of pranksters took a salad up with fake mice in a McDonald's bag up to Haley in first class. Haley made news recently because he is suing McDonalds after his wife and baby sitter found a rat in a salad they were eating.

* WR Terry Glenn caught four passes against the Panthers but he didn't catch any balls in the second half. Glenn was a big target for quarterback Drew Bledsoe because of the relationship going back to their days with the Jets. But look for his numbers to go down with Tony Romo at quarterback. It was no coincidence Owens was thrown to 16 times and caught nine passes against the Panthers. He has a good relationship with Romo, who plans to feed him the ball.

* QB Tony Romo earned his first start as an NFL quarterback. Since 1960, the Dallas Cowboys have had 32 different quarterbacks start a game and have logged a 13-19 record, in games showcasing a new starting quarterback. With Romo's win last week, the Cowboys have won the last three games with a new quarterback at the helm -- Drew Bledsoe (2005) and Drew Henson (2004).

* WR Terrell Owens leads the team in receptions -- tied for eighth in the conference (37), yards - 13th in the conference -- (482) and receiving touchdowns -- tied for fourth in the conference -- (five). Led the team with a season-high nine catches for team and season-best 107 yards at Carolina.

* TE Jason Witten had season highs for catches (six) and yards (80) with a touchdown - his first of the season - at Carolina.

* WR Terry Glenn is currently second on the team with 33 catches for 430 yards. He caught four passes for 52 yards at Carolina. His numbers will likely go down with the switch at quarterback with Tony Romo in for Drew Bledsoe. * RB Julius Jones is currently sixth in the league with 616 yards. He has rushed 24 times for 92 yards and a touchdown at Carolina.

* DE Greg Ellis is currently seventh on the team with 29 tackles and first with 4.5 sacks. He picked off his third career pass against Houston. He then posted four tackles, a forced fumble and two sacks - his second multi-sack game of the season and 13th of his career - at Carolina.

* LB Bradie James has not been spectacular but he has been solid with a team leading 51 tackles. He had 11 stops against Carolina.

* SS Roy Williams has started 72 consecutive games, the longest active streak on the team. He is fourth on the team with 38 tackles and leads the squad with three interceptions. He added one tackle and his team leading third interception of the season at Carolina.

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