Tony Romo: Without Brett Favre, Packers aren't the Packers

BURLINGTON, Wis. -- With Brett Favre set for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer, it is only natural a Wisconsin-bred quarterback like Tony Romo would be asked about the Green Bay Packers legend.

Romo grew up admiring many quarterbacks, maybe John Elway most, but because he grew up two-plus hours south of Green Bay, Favre was also among his favorites. When he became the Cowboys’ starter, Romo’s game was compared most to Favre.

He could even do a mean Favre imitation.

“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 Wednesday at his football camp. “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. What you see today, that is a byproduct of him, his talent, his ability, his knowledge of the game, his passion, his work ethic and really his willingness to compete.

“Really if there’s one thing you look at that shows up is that he competed at the highest level. When he was on the field you had a chance. There wasn’t a lot of games Brett Favre played in that his football team didn’t have a chance, not necessarily to win it but in the season. When you go back and look at it, I’d probably say there’s a handful of games in his career that were meaningless, which is really an incredible stat. When you think how hard it is to get to the playoffs, maybe one year, maybe two years they had games that were meaningless. The others meant something about the playoff picture. That’s a unique thing for a fan base to have.”

While the Cowboys started the 2010 season with a 1-5 record before he suffered a broken collarbone, the same can be said of Romo. In 2006, ’07, ’09 and ’14 they made the playoffs. In 2008 and 2011-13, they played in de facto NFC East championship games in Week 17. Last year Romo played in only four games because of a twice broken left collarbone but the Cowboys had a 3-1 record.

“I still look up to him,” Romo said. “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. Green Bay’s been lucky enough to go from Brett to Aaron [Rodgers] and that’s just unrealistic in real life to have that happen in professional sports. But Brett getting inducted is one of the most no-brainer things that’s ever taken shape. I’m just glad to see the reunion of that two that has happened.”