Cowboys keep Tony Romo clean in pocket

IRVING, Texas -- The most impressive part of Tony Romo’s 12-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin was not the throw or the catch.

It was the pass protection. More specifically, it was how clean the pocket was.

Romo was able to survey the field and go through all of his reads. As he stepped up, there was not a Cincinnati defender near him with center Travis Frederick knocking Wallace Gilberry so off balance that Gilbert actually wobbled.

Over the past few years, that has hardly been the case. Quarterbacks can deal with pressure off the edge because it is in their sight. Pressure up the middle is much more difficult and Romo has noticed a difference in the interior pass protection.

“When you are able to have that kind of time you can do a lot of things as a quarterback, moving a lot of different people a lot of different ways,” Romo said. “That's a testament to the guys up front giving me that kind of time. That play doesn’t happen over time in the past per se, so that was a (tribute) to the guys, how well they were playing and the stuff they are doing. That touchdown doesn’t happen unless they are playing at a high level up front.

“To me there is a lot of stuff I can do to help this football team if you are afforded that opportunity. They have been doing that. That is going to pay dividends as the season goes on.”