Before he was asked about Patrick Mahomes or Brock Purdy, Tony Romo was first asked about the phenomenon that is Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift’s relationship during Thursday’s CBS Sports media session ahead of Super Bowl LVIII.
Romo, who is preparing for his third Super Bowl as a color commentator (CBS, stream on Paramount+), probably upset some Swifties when he was asked why he refers to Swift as Kelce’s wife.
“It’s a joke,” Romo said. “Someone did that to me back in the day. … People come up to me all the time (asking), ‘What do you know?’ People love it and go crazy for it.
“It’s Taylor. She’s just as big a personality as anybody in the world right now. I think it’s a great thing that she’s at football games. I think it just adds value, and I think our team does it the right way. … It just comes out organically.”
Romo knows better than anyone what Kelce is currently experiencing. During part of his time as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, Romo was in a relationship with singer/actress Jessica Simpson. He received criticism at the time stating that the relationship may have caused an unneeded distraction that possibly affected his play on the field.
Kelce, Romo said, has avoided similar criticism by how he and the Chiefs have played over the past month. The Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl, and Kelce is a big reason why.
“If you win, there’s nothing you can write on that,” Romo said. “If they’re losing, and Travis wasn’t playing well, he’d be hit with that stigma even though, I think, it’s not true. To me, he’s still Travis Kelce and he’s playing incredible football right now. He was the difference in a lot of ways in that game against the Ravens.”
Romo offered a specific example of Kelce’s impact on a game. He noted that the Ravens, a zone team, twice lined up in man coverage with Kelce going up against safety Kyle Hamilton. Kelce made big catches on both plays that included the game’s first touchdown.
Kelce’s success on those plays changed how the Ravens played defense going forward. More so, Kelce and the Chiefs’ continued excellence helps shield him from the same criticism Romo faced.
“Once that happened, I thought the Ravens got a little bit … we can’t really keep calling this,” Romo said. “I thought they needed to keep doing that. And when they look at the tape, they should have. The difference was Travis Kelce making those plays. And so to me, that changes the narrative about anything you want to talk about off the field.”