Wednesday News & Notes

How about Tony Romo? The Cowboys' second-year starter appears to be playing at a different level on third down.

CB Nate Jones was released to make room for defensive tackle Tank Johnson, who must stay on the roster 24 hours before reverting to the suspended list. Jones will likely be brought back if he clears waivers but the fact that they are taking the chance with Jones likely means that cornerback Terence Newman is close to returning from a torn right plantar fascia that kept him out of the first two games.

* At the start of the 2007 season it appears QB Tony Romo is at his best on third downs. Through his first two games this year, he has completed 12-of-18 for 203 yards with two touchdowns and a quarterback rating of 141.7 on third down. That's 11.28 yards per an attempt.

* RB Julius Jones has only 98 yards and is averaging just 3.2 yards per carry in two games while Marion Barber has gone off. Barber averaged 6.2 yards per carry with 154 yards and three touchdowns.

"I have to stay patient and not to try press too much. When you're in there for two series and then you come out, you start to press a little bit," Jones said. "Maybe that's what I'm doing. Maybe not. Whatever it is, I'll figure it out and get it right."

* WR Terrell Owens earned coach Wade Phillips' trust and wrath against the Dolphins. He told Phillips he wanted the ball on a fourth and five late in the fourth quarter. The result was a 34-yard touchdown.

"He said give me the ball and I'll make the first down for you," Phillips said. "And I said, 'OK, we're gonna do it.' (Offensive coordinator) Jason (Garrett) called the play and he scored a touchdown, which I thought was great."

Phillips didn't like the touchdown celebration penalty Owens got when he mocked the Patriots' "Spygate" by pretending to operate a camera.

"I told him he couldn't do that and I didn't want it to happen again," Phillips said. "He was sorry about that, but it cost our team."

* WR Patrick Crayton dislocated his right pinky against the Dolphins and is wearing a splint on his hand. But he said the injury will not keep him out of practice on Wednesday.

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