Romo Steps Up

Tony Romo has mastered the part of fantasy football star and celebrity quarterback. But on Sunday against the Browns, he took his legend to another level with a display of toughness against the Browns.

Romo was sandwiched by Browns linebacker Willie McGinest and nose tackle Shaun Rogers - a rough total of 600 pounds of humanity.

He got up woozy and had a gash under his chin. But Romo stayed in the game and continued to lead his team to victory.

With the Eagles and their vaunted blitz-happy defense coming to town for Monday's showdown at Texas Stadium, Romo will likely be battered and bruised again.

But if his teammates have any question about his toughness, they should look at his game against Cleveland.

"When the quarterback is tough, it helps your team's toughness overall," Cowboys coach Wade Phillips said. "I was lucky enough to be with John Elway and Jim Kelly. The team believed in them as players, but they also knew those guys were going to hang in there toughness-wise."

Romo himself tried to deflect his heroics and said being tough is just part of playing quarterback.

"I just threw a ball," he said. "I don't put much stock into it. You can either see a guy and throw it to him or you can't."

Still, it's good for his teammates to see it. It's part of the growing process for a quarterback. The Cowboys know he dates pop stars and celebrities. They know he can put up magical passing numbers.

Now they know he is somebody they can go to battle with, somebody who won't cower at the first sign of trouble or blood.

Again all that is a good thing with the Eagles coming to town. The Eagles have sacked him seven times the past two games at Texas Stadium and forced him into five interceptions.

He is also 0-2 in those contests.

"They're not going to let the quarterback sit back there and hold the ball," said Romo, who had a bandage on the middle finger on his left hand from a hit last week. "They're a very disciplined chaos in a sense of what they do."

SERIES HISTORY: 98th meeting. Cowboys lead series, 54-43. The Eagles won the last meeting at Texas Stadium 10-6 in 2007. Dallas has faced the Eagles 10 times on Monday night football. Philadelphia also won in Dallas in 2006.

* CB Adam Pacman Jones wasn't too busy to reach out to former teammate Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans this week. Jones said he called Young but got no answer. He said he plans on calling back. But he said the former Longhorns quarterback shouldn't have anything to worry about.

"I know if I was a first-round pick and didn't have any court cases and I got $25 million up front, I wouldn't be worried about what y'all say about me," Jones said. "But I just hope he stays strong and knows that it will get better."

* RB Felix Jones will be looking across the field at his NFL role model on Monday night in Eagles running back Brian Westbrook.

"That's kind of why we drafted him," coach Wade Phillips said. "We felt that he was in that mode of a versatile guy who can catch the football out of the backfield, split him out some if you have to and run with the football. He gives you that explosiveness.

"If you find a Westbrook, that would be really something. But we like Felix, and hopefully he'll come along in the right direction."

* LB Greg Ellis likes to rush the passer. But he was asked to be a bump and run cornerback against the Browns and tight end Kellen Winslow. Ellis might have to do the same with Eagles tight end L. J. Smith if the Cowboys choose to split him out wide to try to take advantage of strong safety Roy Williams in coverage.

"It's not my decision; (the coaches) will do what they do best," Ellis said. "When they asked me to cover a tight end, I was like 'Are you sure? Literally, you want me to get a bump on him and just not let him go to the flat?' We'll see how it plays out if that's what they want me to do (again)."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They played the Rams, dude." -- Cowboys cornerback Adam Jones when asked about the Eagles' big-time passing game in the season opener.

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