IRVING, Texas - Tony Romo has gone from swashbuckling to steady. Dare we say "workman-type"?
Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips came up with that answering a question about his quarterback after Sunday's 38-17 victory against Seattle. Romo had just finished his career-best third straight game without an interception, which happens to coincide with a three-game winning streak that ties Dallas with the Eagles atop the NFC East and sets up a first-place showdown Sunday night.
Phillips was trying to describe his whole team, but the connection was notable. And the coach continued the theme yesterday, even after some time to think about it.
"We all know Tony played well and has been consistent throwing the ball for most of the games this year, but really the last three," Phillips said. "He's thrown it to who he needs to throw to."
Said Romo: "You're always looking to never make a mistake, everyone being on the right page, everyone doing the right things. You're always striving for that each week. The reality of it though is that it's not going to happen every week."
The emergence of receiver Miles Austin has helped. In the last three games, Austin has arguably been the No. 1 receiver on a team with Roy Williams and his $45 million contract.
Perhaps the label came quickly because Austin has 482 receiving yards in his first three starts, the most of any player since 1970.
Austin has taken short passes a long way, which he did twice to help save the Cowboys in a 26-20 overtime victory at then-winless Kansas City. He and Romo have connected on deep routes, too, including one that put Dallas ahead for good in a crucial game against Atlanta 2 weeks ago.
"I'm just getting more balls my way, so it's making me more alert and I'm ready for an opportunity any time it rears its pretty head," Austin said.