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Romo not happy plus other news

Happy-go-lucky - grinning from big ear to big ear - Tony Romo has been replaced by surly and serious Tony Romo. He sounds like he was plenty frustrated by that game on Sunday. First, reports:

Romo hardly cracked a smile during his 15-minute session with the media Tuesday at Valley Ranch, saying the team planned to regroup this week in practice. Prior to Sunday's loss, he didn't have reason to do anything but smile.

Then Mosley reports on the same:
Surly Tony made his first appearance of the season, and there's nothing wrong with that. I think he's annoyed by the fact that Bill Parcells mentioned "limiting" some of his options and trying to simplify the offense for him yesterday.

Romo said he would execute what ever game plan the coaches put in place for the Falcons.

"No one's going 16-0 this year," Romo said after repeatedly being asked about Sunday's 42-17 loss to the Saints.

Interesting change in public image for Romo. Does this mean anything in his bouncing back this week? On one hand, you could say he's determined, not at all happy about losing and will do something about it. On the other hand, you might ask if a little frustration is starting to show. But more likely, the media was just irritating him, they have that effect.

For all the bad that came out of the Saints game, there is some good news; we are actually getting much closer to clinching a playoff birth. The first step, as always, is to win this week.

But in Week 15, they have two scenarios involving just three teams that can get them into the playoffs for only the second time since 1999.

A Cowboys win, coupled with a Minnesota loss or tie and a New Orleans win or tie will at least clinch a wild-card berth for the Cowboys.

A Cowboys win, coupled with a Minnesota loss or tie, or a Carolina loss or tie gets them into the playoffs.

Tony Parrish talks about picking up the defense.
"I guess this will be my sixth system," said Parrish, claimed by the Cowboys off waivers Dec. 7. "I've been around a lot of turnover and I've been able to pick up defenses pretty quickly so that's something I believe will help me. I'm still waiting to get warm, I haven't even been here a week yet."

Parrish was inactive for the New Orleans game since he arrived here at Valley Ranch in time for only Friday's practice, but watched his new unit from the sideline. He said there are similarities in the Cowboys' scheme to defenses he has played in before.

"I've played in five systems previously, so after a while there isn't too much defense you can just create," said Parrish, who has been playing strong safety for more of his career.

I'm interested to see how much playing time he gets this week. And will Pat Watkins go back to being inactive?

Oliver Hoyte didn't practice today.

Fullback Oliver Hoyte did not practice Tuesday. He has a knee injury that knocked him out of most of Sunday's game. If he can't play - and we don't have an official injury report yet - then Lousaka Polite will get most of the fullback work.

Now for something completely different, Don Banks has an article about Super Bowl matchups he'd like to see.

2. New England-Dallas -- The "Bill Bowl'' angle would be so overwhelming that media members would risk certain death by stampeding if they happen to stumble on their way to Bill Belichick's or Bill Parcells' daily media briefings. Count on Belichick's briefings to be, well, briefer, than those conducted by his spotlight-loving former boss.

4. Baltimore-Dallas -- We'd have a rematch of Super Bowl V, also played in Miami, 36 years ago. Sort of. The Colts, not the Ravens, beat the Cowboys in the "Blunder Bowl,'' a game remembered for its sloppy play and many turnovers.

5. Indianapolis-Dallas -- Or would this be the real Super Bowl V rematch, with the Colts-Cowboys squaring off again? Is it the city or the nickname that determines a team's true identity? Remind me to ask that noted pro football historian, Dr. Z.

9. San Diego-Dallas -- As good as this game might be, the real drama would be seeing which ancient head coach -- Marty Schottenheimer or Parcells -- got to announce his retirement and go out in a blaze of glory. My money would be on Schottenheimer, with a strong shove from Chargers GM A.J. Smith.

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