Thursday News & Notes

The big question in Dallas is not how the Cowboys will bounce back from the 42-17 shellacking by the Saints, but how will quarterback Tony Romo bounce back.

Romo had been spectacular in his previous six starts. He never had a down moment. He was linked to actress Jessica Simpson and had out-dueled Peyton and Eli Manning.

The big question coach Bill Parcells always had was how would Romo bounce back from a bad performance? How would he react when the media wasn't saying just nice things about him? How would he react when he got ripped for the first time?

Well, the Cowboys are about to find out following Romo's performance against the Saints. He completed 16 of 33 passes for 249 yards with one fluke touchdown and two interceptions.

Parcells said he was eager to find out the answer to those questions, though he believes Romo will be fine. Romo said he is ready to put the Saints game behind him.

"For me, you never want to leave this bad taste in your mouth," Romo said. "You want to rectify this situation and get us back on the right track. This last week was tough. That's going to happen if you play this game. We'll see what kind of team we have now. But we'll be ready to go this week."

Romo wasn't entirely at fault for his poor play. Parcells said his first interception was the result of a mental error by a receiver. But he also acknowledged that the Cowboys might be asking Romo to do a little too much. Parcells said they might simplify things a little.

"Or cutting down some options on some of the things that we're doing," Parcells said. "That would be under the category of simplifying a little bit."

LEFTOVERS
* RB Skyler Green was re-signed to the active roster. Green was released last Thursday to make room for veteran safety Tony Parrish. To make room for Green, the Cowboys cut guard Travis Leffew, who was signed to the roster on Nov. 21.

* WR Damarius Bilbo was signed to the practice squad. Bilbo was on the practice squad for the first month of the season before being released. The Cowboys waived tight end Jason Randall from the practice squad. Bilbo is being looked at safety as well as receiver.

* FB Oliver Hoyte suffered a knee injury against the Saints but coach Bill Parcells doesn't consider it serious. "Actually we're going try to work him out (Tuesday) some and see how it goes," Parcells said before practice. "And I think I'll have a better idea of what his disposition would be for the week." Hoyte was the only player who did not practice with the team and remains questionable for the Falcons game, which is huge considering that his transition from linebacker to fullback had keyed the team's improved running game.

* K Martin Gramatica has missed two of six kicks since joining the Cowboys after missing a 43-yarder against the Saints. Coach Bill Parcells said he is not concerned about his kicker. "It was a good kick," Parcells said. "It was just a little bit to the right, I guess." Gramatica made a 24-yarder against the Saints. In his first game he made three of four field goals, including the game-winning 46-yarder with one second remaining.

* FS Tony Parrish could get time this week at safety following another dismal performance by the team's last line of defense against the Saints. The Cowboys got poor play from strong safety Roy Williams as well as free safeties Keith Davis and Pat Watkins. Look for Parrish to get time at free safety. He could be in the starting line up by Christmas Day against the Eagles if the veteran proves he has something left in the tank.

* WR Terrell Owens had a lot to say about Bill Parcells and his time with the Cowboys, over the weekend. Owens blamed mistrust in the locker room for his many dropped passes as he has not been able to focus. He said he had a decent time in Dallas despite Bill Parcells' coaching style. Parcells, however, would not get into a debate about Owens. He declined to comment about his petulant wide receiver.

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