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In this paper a cross-layer design model - "codeword routing" with implementation example is presented. Given the fact that any two routes that are less than 3 hops away from each other will impose interference on each other due to the broadcast nature and four-way handshake scheme of widely used medium access control algorithm in wireless networks, the "codeword" conceptual model is proposed. The objective is to minimize the potential cross-layer interference among routes. The model and one implementation example - "distributed codeword routing" (DCR) algorithm is discussed in this paper and the performance (throughput) comparison of DCR and widely used AODV routing protocol is presented. Simulation results show that DCR improves the throughput significantly under specific traffic pattern and the overall performance is comparable to AODV for all cases.