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A Cowboy leads the league in an important category

I know it's all about Tony Romo at the moment, but let's talk about another guy who is putting together a pretty good season. A guy who takes his shots from the media - and fans - on a regular basis. A guy who has been described as the most over-rated player in the NFL.

[Roy] Williams tied his career high with his fifth interception of the season in the Cowboys' victory over Tampa Bay. He also leads the NFL with seven takeaways.

So much for critics.

"I'm a weak link in coverage," Williams said facetiously. "I'm just getting lucky."

Roy Williams leads the NFL in takeaways. I'll admit that he's just an average coverage guy, especially in man-to-man against TE's - Dallas Clark and Jeremy Shockey are the latest to beat him for a TD. But he more than makes up for that with his ability to cause turnovers and his intimidation of receivers when he loads up for the big hit. When he lays out the ball-carrier, it sparks the defense in a way that can't be measured. Sure, I wish he'd wrap-up occasionally instead of going for the big hit, but it's a trade-off I'm willing to accept.

When it comes to defense, nothing satisfies like a turnover. And Roy leads the NFL in takeaways.

That's called making plays.

"He's a playmaker, that's his label," Newman said. "They used to have strong safeties, but now they got another position: They're called playmakers."

Bill Parcells loves the way Williams plays with hard hits on receivers and running backs.

Every player has deficiencies, but not every player makes up for them with stellar play in other areas. Roy Williams adds something to our defense that is hard to measure - intimidation - and something that's easy to measure - takeaways.

OK, it's impossible not to talk about Romo, what this kid has done in his first five games starting is nothing short of miraculous. He's taken an extremely talented but under-achieving team and turned them into one of the most feared teams in the NFL. Even the most optimistic Romo supporter couldn't have seen this coming.

The jaw-dropping numbers keep on piling up as the Cowboys climb to the top of the NFC East.

He has completed more than 69 percent of his passes. His average of 9.2 yards per attempt is far and away the NFL's best. He has been NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

And on Thanksgiving Day, Tony Romo picked apart a Tampa Bay defense for a team-record-tying five touchdown passes in a 38-10 Dallas victory that gave the Cowboys a half-game lead on the Giants in the NFC East.

It's five games now. This thing is not a fluke.

Ro-momentum is very real and picking up steam in Dallas.

Not to mention that after this weekend he most likely will be the highest rated QB in the NFL. Even better than Peyton Manning. Plus, in the second half of football games he's been close to perfect. There's nothing better than having a QB that can close the deal in the second half of games, when everything is on the line.

Even Jason Witten, his road roommate, had no idea he would be this good, this quickly.

"I knew all along that he could play," Witten said. "I knew he had the ability to move around in the pocket. What I didn't know was how well he could manage the game, make smart plays and not turn the ball over. That has surprised me a little."

I'm not trying to re-enter the debate about Romo vs. Bledsoe, that's a dead issue. Besides, everybody knows that I was on the wrong side of that debate, I had to wait until the Giants game to make the call for Romo, at the exact moment that Parcells came to the same conclusion. Both of us were late to the party, but I think that Tony Romo has exceeded everyone's expectations, even if you thought he could play at a high-level, what he's done so far is astounding.

If nothing else, Romo has pulled off a miracle that I thought was impossible. He's knocked Terrell Owens out of the news cycle, but more than that, he's made Owens a happy camper. It might not last, Owens can always find something to get mad about, but let's enjoy it while it lasts.

"This is what I always envisioned coming here; trying to be an explosive type of offense," Owens said. "This is not the West Coast [offense], but if you look at the way [Tony] Romo is racking up the yards, you'd think we were a West Coast offense."

And regardless of race, color, creed, age, experience or how many passes have been dropped, Romo doesn't care. He does not play favorites. Open is open.

Funny thing was, when Romo came on board, the early consensus was that Owens and Witten's numbers would go up, while Terry Glenn's would go down. So much for that theory. With Romo at the helm, every receiver gets a chance, heck, even Marion Barber is getting in on the TD-receiving act.

That included the man considered to be the forgotten receiver once Romo became the starting quarterback. For the second time in five days, Terry Glenn produced the types of catches that he came to be known for when Drew Bledsoe was his quarterback.

Glenn caught four passes for 89 yards, including the game-tying touchdown in the first quarter. He caught another touchdown pass early in the second quarter that gave the Cowboys the lead for good.

"[Romo] has a good understanding of getting the ball out quick," tight end Jason Witten said. "He finds that receiver. He does a good job of looking off [receivers] with his eyes, and he keeps everybody involved because he knows coverages have a tough time with that."

Some leftover's from the game:

With the Cowboys leading big late in the game, there was the possibility of former starting quarterback Drew Bledsoe coming in to finish the game. But Bledsoe declined.

"There was no point," Bledsoe said. "Tony was playing great. There was no reason to take him out."

Sounds like Bledsoe was uninterested in pulling mop-up duty.
The Cowboys were flagged twice for 19 yards. It was their lowest total since they committed just one penalty for 5 yards against the New York Giants on Oct. 23.


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