CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -Tony Romo aimed for the blonde hair.
No, he wasn't trying to pick up another girlfriend. Clearly, these fans with the flowing blonde hair weren't his type.
The Dallas quarterback held steady in the pocket, tossed a sideline hitch to Terrell Owens and watched him sprint 10 yards in for the score.
Nothing was distracting Romo this week. Not the controversy surrounding new girlfriend Jessica Simpson's appearance at his last game, or the three portly male Panthers fans wearing long blonde wigs in the end zone.
Romo bounced back from the worst statistical performance of his career - which came a 10-6 loss to Philadelphia while a pink jersey-clad Simpson rooted him on from a luxury box - to lead Dallas to an early score Saturday night against Carolina.
Cowboys fans immediately linked his poor performance to Simpson's appearance, and the pop star quickly became persona non grata in Dallas.
Owens playfully joined the bashing a few days later, joking that Simpson should stay away.
``Right now, Jessica Simpson is not a fan favorite - in this locker room or in Texas Stadium,'' Owens said.
He backpedaled later that same day, insisting his comments were in jest, but Simpson seemed to heed his advice and stayed away from a stadium packed with so many Cowboys fans, they outnumbered the hometown crowd.
Their presence thwarted the efforts of RuinRomo.com, which encouraged fans to print a cutout of Simpson and wear it as a mask to distract the quarterback. Only a few were spotted sprinkled through the stands, and the wig-clad trio in the end zone could hardly have been mistaken for the starlet.
Romo had been fully expecting a barrage of the masks, and said in a taped interview on the NFL Network the masks looked nothing like Simpson.
``I'll tell you what, I wouldn't date a girl with those eyes. Her eyes are normally a little better than that,'' he said holding a mask.
He acknowledged the criticism has bothered Simpson, but Romo was taking it in stride.
``I think it probably hurt her, just because no one wants to hear anything negative about themselves,'' he said. ``For me, I don't know if I'm immune to it, but I don't really care about the perception of me.''
Romo said he welcomed the masks at the game, as well as an opportunity to redeem himself.
``We'll be able to solve the problem right now and decide whether we can win a game if they're in the stands,'' he said.
But with so few masks in the stands, it made it easy for Romo to concentrate, even though he fumbled the snap on the first play of the game. But chalk that mistake up to personnel, not the bombshell. Pro Bowl center Andre Gurode missed the game with a knee injury, and Romo had to adjust to grabbing the ball from Cory Procter.
The two had their rhythm set by the second series, a 13-play drive that ended with Owens' touchdown and a 7-0 Dallas lead with 1:30 to play in the first quarter. Romo finished the first quarter a solid 9-of-13 for 79 yards and the score.
He later led the Cowboys on a 75-yard, second-quarter scoring drive that gave them a 14-0 lead. Romo was 21-for-32 for 188 yards as the Cowboys took a 17-7 lead into halftime.

Recent NFL Discussions

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail SBLI: Patriots favored over Falcons Following their victory in the AFC title game, the Patriots have opened as small favorites over the Falcons in Super Bowl LI.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Game Prediction Are the Steelers a good bet to cover versus the Patriots in tonight's AFC Championship Game at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail AFC Title Spread Holding Steady Kickoff of tonight's AFC Championship Game is set for 6:40PM ET between the Steelers and Patriots. Where is the point spread currently?
Thumbnail Public Bettors backing Patriots Are public bettors backing Tom Brady and the Patriots today in the AFC Championship Game, or the underdog Steelers at 6:40PM ET?
Thumbnail NFC Title First Player to Score Pick Who will score the first touchdown in the NFC Championship Game today at 3:05PM ET? Let's take a look at the odds first.

NFL Team Pages