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Original Issue

The Beat

TONY ROMO sure got out of the pocket during his bye week. The Cowboys' QB, who has been linked to American Idol winner Carrie Underwood ("We're friends," he says), dined out on Oct. 22 with One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush at the trendy steak house N9NE in downtown Dallas. (T.O. stopped by too.) The next night Romo and Bush attended a launch party for the video game Guitar Hero III in Dallas. Then between two quick trips to Vegas (T.O. was there too) Romo had a Friday late-night rendezvous with a fresh-out-of-custody-hearing Britney Spears at the L.A. nightclub Les Deux—Romo and the Gimme More singer met through a mutual friend.... While Maria Sharapova (right) nurses an ailing shoulder, she's been working on a TV script. The world's sixth-ranked player just pitched a behind-the-scenes women's tennis drama (think Friday Night Lights) to the CW network. She wants to be the executive producer.... At last the public will have the answer to the burning question, How does Nicholas Cage look in Spandex tights and lace-up boots? The Oscar winner has signed to star in The Wrestler, directed by Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream). Cage will play an aging ring star.

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