As a Wisconsin native who grew up to be a gunslinging NFL quarterback, Tony Romo has one of the most unique perspectives on the life and career of former Green Bay Packers quarterback and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
Romo says he still considers Favre a role model.
“I still look up to him,” Romo said, via ESPN. “Anybody who grew up in Wisconsin, everyone knows who Brett Favre is and what he’s meant to Green Bay and Wisconsin life. They come around once in a generation.”
Favre, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, spent 16 decorated seasons in Green Bay. A perennial loser in the 1970s and 1980s, the Packers regained their footing as one of the NFL’s model franchises once Favre landed in Green Bay in 1992.
He won three NFL MVPs and took the Packers to two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXI in January of 1997. Green Bay won 160 of his 253 regular season starts, while also making 11 playoff trips.
Growing up in Burlington, Wisconsin, Romo recognized Favre’s transformative effect on the Packers.
“Without Brett Favre, the Green Bay Packers really aren’t the Green Bay Packers, even though they have a great history and [Vince] Lombardi and everything else that goes into it,” Romo said. “I was watching football before they had Brett Favre and Green Bay was not someone that you had to worry about on your schedule if you were playing in the NFL. I think he brought them back to prominence and made that organization’s standard of excellence and from there all the pieces started to fall into place.”
Romo wouldn’t mind channeling some of Favre’s late career magic during the 2016 season.
After missing 12 of 16 games last season, Romo is now returning to lead a potentially explosive Cowboys offense. In fact, one assistant general manager thinks Romo could be looking at an MVP season in 2016. He finished third in the MVP voting in 2014, when he threw 34 touchdowns and led the NFL in passer rating.
Not bad for a Wisconsin kid whose football idol is about to receive the profession’s highest honor.