Eagles coach Andy Reid and quarterback Donovan McNabb praised Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo for his play and leadership this season and take a veiled shot at former Cowboys and Eagles receiver Terrell Owens.
Reid said Romo has been more assertive as a leader this season because of the departure of a couple of distractions from last season.
Asked to identify the distraction, Reid backed off and said "the whole in the roof," resulting in uproar of laughter.
Certainly, the switch from Texas Stadium to the new Cowboys Stadium has been a big change for the Cowboys this season. But it's well documented that the departure of the divisive Owens has had a positive effect on Romo.
Remember, it was in the latter part of last season, which ended with the embarrassing 44-6 loss to the Eagles in the season final, that the feud between Owens, Romo and tight end Jason Witten reached it's zenith.
McNabb said Romo's growth as a leader since Owens was released in the offseason is very evident and telling in his and the Cowboys play of late.
"Last season was last season," McNabb said. "It's a whole different ballclub that I look at. Tony has played a whole lot different. It's Tony's team. People can talk negative about what Tony was doing last year or the year before, or earlier this year, it's Tony's team. The good thing about playing the quarterback position, when you have the reigns and you have command of the guys, and the guys are following along with everything they tell them and show them, good thigns can happen. You've seen in recent weeks, the team has really played well and Tony's played well as well. That's part of the difference you see on that whole ball team."
Clarence E. Hill Jr.