IRVING, Texas (AP) -Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has become quite the celebrity this offseason, whether as Carrie Underwood's date at the Country Music Awards or as a judge for the Miss Universe pageant.
Those are the kind of off-the-field headlines that can worry a team about distractions - but not owner Jerry Jones.
``I want Tony to be everything he can be on the field, but I like his colorfulness off of it,'' Jones said Thursday. ``There's an element of entertainment in football. The publicity comes with the automatic question of what is he not doing when he's out doing that. I like the way he handles that. I know he has his eye on the ball.''
Romo has had to work hard because the Cowboys are working on a new offensive system under new head coach Wade Phillips.
Among the other starters to show up at Thursday's voluntary session was wide receiver Terrell Owens, who said of the new offense, ``I'm excited about it.''
Jones said he didn't have second thoughts about paying the June 1 roster bonus of $3 million to bring the 34-year-old back for another season.
``He's a key player and a key part of our plans,'' Jones said. ``He's a big part of what we can do with the ball. He was a key part last year, and I do know we're trying to improve getting the ball to him.''
As for Romo, he's playing down any newfound celebrity, deflecting questions about his ``bouncing around'' this offseason.
``For me, bouncing around is the two or three times you've seen me out,'' he said. ``In the last 78 days, I've probably been out three days.''
Even so, there's no denying the backup turned Pro Bowler has become a big name.
``It surprises me that people care. It cracks me up,'' he said. ``I don't take myself too seriously, but I take my job seriously.''
Note: The Cowboys on Thursday released G Marco Rivera, who was trying to return following back surgery. Jones said he has no plans to talk with LB Greg Ellis or his agent about a contract extension. Ellis is coming back from Achilles' tendon surgery.

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