IRVING, Texas (AP) – Bill Parcells still isn’t impressed with everything Tony Romo does.

Even after Romo threw for 306 yards and matched a team record with five touchdowns to lead the Dallas Cowboys to their third straight victory, Parcells talked first about the scoring pass the NFL’s top-rated quarterback missed Thanksgiving Day.

“He drove that first pass to Terry (Glenn), the long one down the sideline. If he puts a little air under that, then we have a chance to score right there,” Parcells said. “There are things that happen out there that people aren’t cognitive of.”

Maybe not, but what’s easily noticed is that Romo hit Glenn for consecutive touchdowns after coming up empty the opening drive. He threw two more TDs to Marion Barber III and a record-tying fifth score to Terrell Owens in a 38-10 victory over Tampa Bay.

“Yeah, I know, but I could have thrown those first two,” Parcells said.

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Romo said. “They were some easy ones, but it’s not that easy to get down there sometimes.”

Still, Romo’s making it look easy after waiting nearly 3 seasons for his chance.

The Cowboys (7-4) have won four of five games since Romo, the undrafted Division I-AA standout from Eastern Illinois, replaced Drew Bledsoe.

Sparked by Romo, the Cowboys have surged to a half-game lead in the NFC East over the New York Giants, the team they play next on Dec. 3. Only Chicago (9-1) has more wins in the conference.

“He’s a little fireplug. When he gets a chance to get out there and do something, you can see the energy in him,” veteran cornerback Aaron Glenn said. “He just loves to play. When you have that type of energy, it trickles down to everybody.”

Romo’s three-game winning streak began when he was NFC offensive player of the week for his performance at Arizona. He then outplayed Peyton Manning when Dallas handed Indianapolis its first loss of the season, and there obviously wasn’t a letdown four days later against the Buccaneers.

“This is the best we’ve played this year. Frankly, these back-to-back wins are the best we’ve looked in 10 years,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “We’re a team that’s got time to take advantage of getting a lot better. What we’re doing, and the arrow we’ve got pointed up, can pay off over the next four or five weeks.”

Dallas had the same record heading to New York after Thanksgiving last year, then lost to the Giants. That was part of a 2-5 finish that kept the Cowboys out of the playoffs.

This year, the Cowboys lost to New York 36-22 on Oct. 23, when Romo took over after halftime and got his first extended action. Romo has been the starter since.

Jones admittedly lowered his expectations for the season after that loss and the quarterback switch, no longer convinced this team could be “special.” A month later, the owner is again excited about the possibilities for this season.

“We didn’t design it this way, but I ought to know by now you can’t design them any way,” said Jones, whose team hasn’t won a playoff game in 10 years. “I didn’t know it was going to end up being this way, but we’ve got a chance to compete at a high level.”

Romo has completed 69 percent of his passes (125 of 180) for 1,656 yards with 13 touchdowns and only five interceptions, and was 29-of-31 for 409 yards and three TDs after halftime the last three games. He had never thrown a pass in the NFL before this season.

“This what I always envisioned coming here, trying to be an explosive-type offense,” Owens said. “This is not West Coast, but if you look at the way Romo is really racking up the yards, you would think we were a West Coast offense.”

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