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Connection in Brussels Airport

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I have booked tickets through Orbitz. On the way back, we leave Rome at around 645 am for Brussels arrival at 9 am. We then connect to our AA flight at 10 am for JFK.

Cost was a big factor for these tickets, but I want to be prepared for the idea that we miss a flight due to whatever. The Rome to Brussels leg is on Brussels Airlines; the Brussels to JFK leg is on American Airlines.

My questions:

1. I understand that we will have to pass through passport control and security control. Is the one hour connection time enough?
2. I have never purchased on Orbitz. Should we miss our flight, will I have any trouble arranging alternative flights with American Airlines directly?

Finally, Brussels Airlines has the most restrictive luggage policy. Their website states that checked bags must weigh less than 44 lbs - but is there a dimension restriction? I have a 29" suitcase I'm debating about bringing.

Thanks!

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