Tony Romo to Start for Cowboys on Sunday

Wednesday, October 25th 2006, 5:04 am
By: News On 6

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Tony Romo is now the first-string quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, and will make his first career start Sunday night at Carolina.

Coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday that Romo, who replaced 14-year veteran Drew Bledsoe in the second half of Monday night's 36-22 loss to the New York Giants, will start.

``Any time you do something like this, it's not without a lot of consideration,'' Parcells said. ``I've been thinking about it for some time. ... Hopefully, maybe as the team is comprised right now, he might be able to do a couple of things that assist us.''

Neither Bledsoe nor Romo appeared in the Cowboys locker room Wednesday.

Romo, a fourth-year pro who had never thrown a pass in a game until this season, will be the ninth different starting quarterback for the Cowboys since Hall of Famer Troy Aikman retired after the 2001 season.

Bledsoe joined Parcells in Dallas before the 2005 season, reuniting with the coach who made him the No. 1 pick in 1993 for the New England Patriots.

His last pass Monday night was an interception at the goal line just before halftime when the Cowboys had a chance to take the lead. Bledsoe had already been sacked four times, once for a safety.

Romo was intercepted on his first pass, on a ball tipped by Michael Strahan and caught by Antonio Pierce. He threw two more interceptions, one returned 96 yards for a touchdown.

``He's got to be more careful with the ball than he was the other night,'' Parcells said.

But Romo also showed he could be effective. He scrambled and completed 14 of 25 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, and flashed more footwork running for a 2-point conversion.