The starting quarterbacks of the NFL are a close-knit fraternity for the most part and we don't think that one of them would intentionally give bad advice to another, but there's something off about Brett Favre's words of wisdom for Tony Romo.
Favre is of the impression that Romo is from the same gunslinger school that created Favre and that he should ignore anyone who tells him not to take risks on the football field.
"I think Tony needs to play exactly the way he's played," Favre said. "He does not need to worry about what other people think of him. ... He is what he is. He makes plays that other people wouldn't make, that other people wouldn't attempt to make, and that's what makes him a special player. Don't change that. It would be like telling Barry Sanders, you know, 'Hey, don't cut back. All your blockers are front side.' You can't tell him that. You've got to live with that. I think with Tony and myself and players like that across the league, you have to be able to first, as a player, accept it yourself. But stay with what got you there."
Problem with that advice is that Romo is in the midst of the best season of his career because he has cut down on risks and done a better job of taking what's there and not trying to make a big play at the expense of a productive one. He's thrown more passes than any other season in his career but has set a new personal best by only throwing nine interceptions. That's five fewer picks than he threw in an abbreviated 2008 season and four fewer than his first year as a starter.
His touchdowns have also fallen and he's taken more sacks, but it's difficult to see how that has resulted in a less efficient or productive offense overall. What isn't hard to see is that Romo is a more effective quarterback today than he was at any other point in his career and that he's more effective because he's done exactly the opposite of what Favre suggests.
It's funny to hear Favre talk about not listening to what people say or think about him. He made a similar transition with the Vikings this season, but seems desperate to have people still believe that he's a gambler who makes plays without the slightest care about the risk involved. He cites the memorable touchdown pass he threw through traffic on the last play of Minnesota's win against the 49ers, apparently unaware that there's a difference between acceptable risks and unacceptable ones.
The last play of a game that you're losing calls for the kind of low percentage throw that Favre pulled off. The same would go for Romo in a similar situation. Making that throw in the second quarter of a 7-6 game, however, is a different story altogether. Favre must know that because he's played that way all season, so you have to wonder why he's telling Romo to do differently.
If Romo keeps doing what he's doing and lets Favre follow his own advice, things should work out just fine for the Cowboys.