Better Than Advertised

There is no question quarterback Tony Romo has played better than anyone could have imagined, even coach Bill Parcells, who groomed him over the last four years for this very moment.

In five games, Romo has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 1,124 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. He has averaged 287.3 yards in his three starts, totaling 862 yards, five touchdowns and one interception.

His 101.2 passer rating is tops in the NFC and only second in the league behind Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who happens to be coming to Dallas Sunday for a showdown with Romo.

Parcells is pleased, very pleased.

But he acknowledges that things aren't perfect and that Romo still scares him. Parcells understands that a bad game is coming because all quarterbacks do have them. But what scares his is Romo's penchant to sometimes go off script and play sandlot football.

He was particularly upset at a play at end of the first half against the Cardinals when Romo faked like he was going to spike the ball to kill the clock and instead threw a pass in the end zone for rookie receiver Sam Hurd. The ball was nearly picked off and returned 90 yards for a touchdown.

"Dumb players do dumb things," Parcells said to Romo as he came off the field.

Parcells said Romo got away with it, as he has with a few other plays during his time as the starter. But he knows his luck is going to run out and just wants him to stop making impulse plays.

"My expectations for his ... 'deviations from the norm' is I guess the best way to put it; I'd be a little less tolerant with him than I would be say a first-year player or a second-year player," Parcells said.

* WR Terrell Owens had two dropped passes against the Cardinals, bringing his total to eight for the season. Owens explained his drops by saying he was now pressing. "Maybe just a little bit," he said. "I'm just trying to make some plays. But like I said, I'm just trying to get myself out of a funk and make some plays."

* WR Pat Crayton did a good job filling in for the absent Terry Glenn against the Cardinals with five catches for 104 yards and a touchdown. However, Cowboys coach Bill Parcells wants Crayton to stay hungry and refused to compliment him on Monday.

* QB Tony Romo is a candidate for the FedEx NFL Air player of the week for his performance against the Cardinals when he completed 20 of 29 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns.

* RB Julius Jones has 72 carries for 240 yards, only 3.3 yards per carry in the last four games. Could he be wearing down? The Cowboys are trying to offset that by giving Marion Barber more carries. They want Jones fresh for the stretch run at the end of the season.

* DE Jason Hatcher might be an option for the Cowboys in their quest to find a replacement for the sidelined Greg Ellis as a pass rusher. Hatcher is the next best edge rusher behind Ellis and linebacker DeMarcus Ware. However, right now they like him as a inside rusher on the nickel defense alongside Jay Ratliff. Look for Junior Glymph to be outside opposite Ware.

*CB Anthony Henry has been a pass interference penalty waiting to happen in recent weeks. Look for the Colts to attack him early and often in Sunday's game with Reggie Wayne.

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