Every week during the 2011 NFL season, gridiron expert Hatley Vittitow dissects America's Team and its challengers.
ARLINGTON--Tony Romo has grown up.
Five years ago, a kid on the sideline walked around wearing his cap backwards, smiling without a care in the world. Now, a general barks orders to his team. Despite the droning Jaworski hyperbole, Romo has indeed become a coach on the field - directing his teammates where to line up, who to block, and what route to run. He is all business. He's leading by example too; playing through the pain of a cracked rib and punctured lung has inspired Dez Bryant and Felix Jones to tough it out. A year ago, Jones would have spent Monday night nursing his separated shoulder off the field. Instead, he plays through the pain, racking up a career high for single game rushing yards in the process.
This newfound toughness is thanks in part to head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett has set a new way of thinking at Valley Ranch that hasn't been seen in since the Jimmy Johnson era. He makes everyone accountable on the team, and it starts with his stars. Don't expect consummate slackers skating by on their upside to stick around much longer (Martellus Bennett).