While discussing his retirement from football and move to television, former Cowboys QB Tony Romo reflected on the "special relationship" he has with Giants QB Eli Manning.
"I feel like it's one of my favorite relationships in the NFL. I don't have a ton, I've never really talked to opponents too much," Romo said on a conference call Tuesday. "I've always felt a weird competitive part of that. I feel like there was a friendly rivalry that extended on that field. Eli's been so good for over a decade. I had to play really, really good ball to beat him."
Romo's second career NFL apperance came against Manning and the Giants. The former Dallas quarterback replaced Drew Bledsoe in the second half of a 36-22 Giants win on Oct. 23, 2006. Romo became the Cowboys' starting quarterback the following week.
"The games always came down to a wire. Almost all of the times, they came down to a possession," Romo said. "I remember when i was young, going against Eli, I was like, 'Boy, these games are always difficult.' They always come down to a possession, and he always plays well. He got me there for a while, I feel like. I felt like I had to play perfect ball, because he was such a good player."
Romo went 10-7 against the Giants as a starter, including winning his first four career starts against New York as well as his final five. However the biggest game between the two quarterbacks came in the 2007 NFC Divisional Round, when Manning led New York to a 21-17 victory in Dallas en route to a Super Bowl Championship.
"Eli's a special relationship for me. He really is. It's one of those things where, I've had to work harder to beat him," said Romo. "And it's a great thing when you have to work harder to beat someone within your division. He's, without knowing it, made me a better player. That's a testament to how great of a player he is, and he's still going. I think he's got some good years ahead of him. It will be fun to call one of his games some day."