IRVING, Texas – Tony Romo and Eli Manning will face each other for the 17th time Sunday at AT&T Stadium, the two starting quarterbacks competing within the NFC East for the 10th straight season.
They've taken different roads to becoming two of the longest-tenured quarterbacks in the NFL – Romo an undrafted prospect in 2003 who earned a starting job under Bill Parcells midway through his fourth season, Manning the No. 1 overall pick for the Giants in 2004 and full-time starter by Year 2.
"Tony and I have a good relationship and been competing these last nine years," Manning said Wednesday via conference call. "I've seen him during games, after games, before games and talked, talked on the phone, text messaged over the years. I haven't been around him outside of football a whole lot, but I have great respect for him."
The two quarterbacks also had fun acting in separate DirecTV commercials this past offseason: Manning as "Bad Comedian Eli Manning" and Romo as "Arts and Craftsy Tony Romo."
So did the better job with, let's say, unusual roles?
"I don't know, I enjoyed Tony's. His was good. He seemed very creepy," Manning said with a laugh. "He did a good job portraying that role."