Monday, September 14, 2009

Terrell Who? Romo Has a Career Day

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo passed for a career-best 353 yards and threw three touchdown passes.
By Fred Goodall
Associated Press

TAMPA, Sept. 13 -- Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys figure they'll be fine without Terrell Owens.

Surrounded by a talented supporting cast that includes Roy Williams, Patrick Crayton, Miles Austin and Jason Witten -- not to mention Marion Barber and Felix Jones -- it's easy to understand why.

Romo had a career-best 353 yards passing, including three long touchdown passes that keyed a 34-21 victory Sunday and ruined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' debut under Coach Raheem Morris.

"Career-high passing yards? Without T.O.?" Williams asked, laughing before turning serious.

"No, it's good. It's good for him. It's good for this team. It was a team effort. Everybody contributed."

Austin avoided two tacklers on the sideline to score on a 42-yard reception just before halftime and Williams streaked through a mistake-prone secondary on a 66-yard touchdown play early in the third quarter.

Romo teamed with Crayton, who had four catches for 135 yards, on the longest completion of the quarterback's career -- 80 yards -- for a fourth-quarter touchdown that thwarted any realistic hopes for a Tampa Bay comeback.

"They are playmakers, and we knew that going in," Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips said. "But until you do it, the naysayers are going to say, 'Hey, You don't have this or that.' But I think we do."

Tampa Bay's Byron Leftwich completed 25 of 41 passes for 276 yards and no interceptions, but took a beating from a relentless pass rush once Romo put the Cowboys in control.

Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward each scored on one-yard runs for the Bucs, who rushed for 174 yards but eventually had to abandon the running game.

"Obviously, we're disappointed," said Morris, who at 33 is the NFL's youngest head coach. "But there were a lot of good things on offense."

Cadillac Williams, back after having knee surgery twice in 15 months, finished with 97 yards on 13 carries. Ward ran for 62 yards on 12 attempts and was the catalyst on a long second-half drive that briefly put the Bucs back in the game.

Romo completed his first two passes to the 6-foot-3, 215-pound Roy Williams, but the duo remained relatively quiet until the wide receiver's big third-quarter catch put the Cowboys up, 20-7.


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