IRVING, Texas - Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is one of three quarterback nominees for the FedEx Air & Ground Award after passing for a career-high 308 yards and two touchdowns in the team's 27-10 win over the Cardinals this past Sunday.
Romo is joined by Green Bay's Brett Favre and San Diego's Philip Rivers for the quarterback portion of the award. Running backs LaDainian Tomlinson, Fred Gore and Willie Parkers were also nominated for their efforts on the ground this past weekend.
Fans can vote for one player in each category on NFL.com until 5 p.m. CST on Thursday to determine the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week. The winners will be announced Thursday evening on NFL.com.
In addition, NFL fans may cast their votes for the FedEx Air & Ground NFL Players of the Week using Sprint or Nextel wireless service - an opportunity available only to Sprint customers.
At the end of the voting period, the winning quarterback and running back are honored with a $5,000 donation to the children's charity of their choice.
Romo, who improved to 2-1 as starter last week in Arizona, completed 20-of-29 passes for his first-ever 300-yard game. He has also played 11 straight quarters without throwing an interception, which is one of the reasons why he has the NFC's best quarterback rating (102.1).
Romo, who also leads the NFC with a 65.6 completion percentage, is second only to this week's counterpart - Peyton Manning - for the league's quarterback rating. Manning (104.5) leads the high-powered Colts with their 9-0 record into Texas Stadium on Sunday at Texas Stadium.
Despite not throwing a pass in the first four games, Romo now has 1,124 passing yards, just 40 less than Drew Bledsoe, who was replaced by Romo in the starting lineup three weeks ago at Carolina.
Since taking over as the starting quarterback, Romo has posted the three-highest passing totals for the Cowboys this season, throwing for 270 in his starting debut in Carolina, 284 in a loss to the Redskins and then 308 at Arizona.
Although the Cowboys virtually have two open roster spots, and Tuesday is a day they usually make necessary roster moves, it was rather quiet here at Valley Ranch.
The Cowboys' official roster count is still at 52, though linebacker Greg Ellis will end up on injured reserve this week after suffering a torn left Achilles' tendon in Sunday's game against the Cardinals. Ellis was expected to have season-ending surgery on Tuesday.
Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said on Monday he would expect Ellis to be ready to play again at least by the start of training camp next July.
The Cowboys also cleared a roster spot last Saturday by releasing veteran safety Marcus Coleman.
The Cowboys compete before a nationally-televised audience each Thanksgiving, so on Tuesday several players served an "early" Thanksgiving dinner to more than 200 less fortunate men and women at The Salvation Army's homeless shelter in Dallas.
Joined by the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and team mascot Rowdy, the players donned red aprons and helped serve meals from the kitchen and dining area.
"It's a great environment to be in," Cowboys safety Roy Williams said. "Everybody's uplifting. Everybody's inspired. And I'm just happy that we could bring this joy into their life."
The annual early Thanksgiving dinner is sponsored by the Dallas Cowboys, Albertsons and Honeysuckle White turkey. In cooperation with local Albertson stores, Honeysuckle White - a Wichita-based turkey producer - will donate 2,000 pounds of turkey to The Salvation Army.
"For the last 10 years I've been gone playing in Jacksonville," said linebacker Akin Ayodele, an Irving, Texas, native who signed with the Cowboys in the off-season. "But every year you see the Cowboys are on and what they do for The Salvation Army, especially around this time of year. So to be a part of it I'm very honored and feel very pleased just to be here."
-- *Rob Phillips *
Vinny To Pats
Journeyman quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who started 15 games for the Cowboys in 2004, came out of retirement once again Tuesday to sign with the Patriots as a backup.
The 43-year-old quarterback has played for five different NFL teams, including two different stops with the Jets, where he started four games last season.
In 2004, Testaverde became the starting quarterback for the Cowboys after Quincy Carter was abruptly released in training camp. He started 15 games, but finished the one missed start, relieving rookie Drew Henson at halftime against the Bears on Thanksgiving Day and rallying the Cowboys to a 21-7 win.
Testaverde becomes the third quarterback on the roster for the Patriots, joining Tom Brady, who has struggled the last two weeks, and inexperienced rookie Matt Cassel.