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Blinking At The Future

He made it during the final 1:33 of the first half, and told his quarterbacks coach Chris Palmer to inform Romo he was the guy in the second half. And there was no announcement. 

"When we went out there and Romo was in the huddle I knew," Cowboys veteran guard Marco Rivera said of when he realized Romo had taken over the quarterbacking duties. 

"Nobody knew," tight end Jason Witten said. "Yeah, I was surprised." 

Well, everyone knows now. Romo played the entire second half. And he was like the proverbial little girl: When she's good, she's very, very good. And when she's bad, she's very, very bad. 

Romo, at best, was a tease. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 227 yards. Yet he was intercepted three times, the final one returned 96 yards by Kevin Dockery for a touchdown. He juked and jived his way out of trouble to escape with only two sacks and scrambled out once for nine yards. Yet he should have been intercepted at least two more times. 

So are the Cowboys, 10 games left in the season and sitting here 3-3, but one game out of first place in the NFC East yet two NFC East games behind the Giants, looking at their future? Can Parcells possibly go back to Bledsoe after calling for the scrappy right-hander on such a big stage? 

Parcells was not revealing his inner thoughts. When asked about Bledsoe, he simply said, "Too many mistakes." 

When asked if the interception was the final straw, he curtly said, "That was bad." 

When asked about who might start next Sunday night's game at Carolina, Parcells again was tight-lipped, saying, "Well, you know that's a decision I don't have to do it until a little bit later than tonight." 

Seems he's already made that decision, and sure seems he has been waiting, maybe since the season-opening loss at Jacksonville when Bledsoe was intercepted three times, for Bledsoe to give him the final reason. The leash, you got the feeling, has been one of those chokers, yanking tighter each time Bledsoe has done something wrong. 

Come on, even though Bledsoe threw the really bad interception, the Cowboys still were only down by five at halftime and getting the ball back to start the second half. All was not lost. That he made the switch then spoke volumes. Said he was ready to get on with the future. 

But that future didn't look much better than the present when Romo's first pass on the first play of the second half was tipped at the line of scrimmage by, who else, Michael Strahan, and intercepted by Antonio Pierce. Three plays later, it was now 19-7. 

"Really big point in the game and it cost us," Romo said. "After that, we were fighting uphill the rest of the game." 

The hill only grew higher when Owens dropped what would have been a first-down reception with the Cowboys going for it on fourth down at the Giants' 32. Before anyone could go dog Owens for wasting an "opportunity" - his word, not mine, remember - the Giants systematically drove for another touchdown, going up 26-7. 

Now it was hully-gully time. 

Some was good, some was bad, or as Parcells summed up, "Some good, some careless." 

But with the season anything but cooked, unless Monday night's performance was a true indication of what this team is, were the Cowboys witnessing their future? Is it truly Romo time? 

All along, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been saying for this team to get where it wants to go this season, the quarterback has to be Bledsoe. But this didn't seem like calling for the relief quarterback because the starter didn't have a hot hand. 

This seemed like fed up. 

But if he was fed up with Bledsoe, then what's Parcells thinking of Romo's three picks? 

Remember, back after the NFL owners' meeting in Orlando, Fla., I told you a little birdy told me he was confident Parcells would go to Romo at some point in the season, once he had seen enough sacks and enough picks. 

He was right. Parcells did. 

But there was no magic, not on this electric night. And in the end, no more chants for "Romo, Romo, Romo." 

A controversy, indeed.                                     

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