IRVING, Texas -- Don't blame the Jessica Jinx this time.
One month after fans considered her attendance the reason for a
bad game by her boyfriend, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, the pop
singer-actress wasn't believed to be at Texas Stadium on Sunday
when Dallas was upset 21-17 by the New York Giants.
Then again, folks might have a new reason for blaming her --
those touchy-feely pictures of the couple cavorting in Mexico last
weekend that surfaced soon after and created quite a stir.
"I'll take the blame and I'll take the criticism here," Romo
said. "That's why we're put in these positions."
There were plenty of blonde women in the stands wearing pink
Romo jerseys Sunday, but the woman who made them famous wasn't
believed to be among them. Her publicist said earlier in the week
she was working on a new album and would not be at the game.
On Dec. 16, Simpson proudly displayed her shirt to television
cameras during the Cowboys' game against Philadelphia. Romo injured
his throwing thumb and had one of his worst games of the season
that day. What they didn't know -- or didn't care about -- was that
she'd attended other Cowboys games and he played just fine.
Then came the fuss about Romo's trip to Mexico leading up to the
"I don't live with regrets," Romo said. "I'm content in my
own skin. If I try and be a good person and I'm strong enough in my
faith, then I feel like I'm doing it the right way."
Romo's teammates believed the trip was a non-issue -- especially
star receiver Terrell Owens.
Owens, who jokingly piled on those blaming Simpson for Romo's
woes after the Eagles game, broke down in tears when he met with
reporters after the game.
"This is not about Tony. You guys can point the finger at him,
you can talk about the vacation, and if you do that, it's really
unfair," Owens said, his voice cracking. "It's really unfair.
That's my teammate. That's my quarterback. You guys do that, it's
not fair. We lost as a team. We lost as a team, man."