The college link between New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was largely what led to Romo leading America's Team in the first place.
Both played QB at Eastern Illinois, but Payton still boasts the school record for passing yards in a single game with 509 yards. Asked in an interview by Jim Rome recently on Showtime who was the better collegiate QB, Payton didn't hesitate in saying he was better:
Before taking the head job in New Orleans, the brilliant Payton had an extensive coaching background and was quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach to Bill Parcells in Dallas. That's what essentially landed Romo on the Cowboys and ultimately got him the shot to start and notch three Pro Bowl seasons.
But Payton still evidently has a strong relationship with his former pupil. His mentoring sharpened Romo's skills and made him ready to be one of the premier signal-callers in the NFL.
For all of the flak Romo has taken, he does boast a career 95.6 passer rating and averages nearly eight yards per attempt—strong by any measure.
However, he only has one playoff win.
While it's not really debatable which QB has panned out as the better pro, Payton does have a Super Bowl ring as a coach—and urged others in his interview with Rome to take a look at the numbers when judging who was better at Eastern Illinois.
The outlook is somewhat surprising.
Which team is likelier to make the NFL playoffs this season?
Payton received his bachelor's degree in 1987, so the fact that those records still stand—especially with a player of Romo's caliber having attended his alma mater—is indeed something to be proud of.
It was clear that Payton ribbed Romo in a kidding manner, but the Cowboys signal-caller has a lot to live up to this season.
Romo signed a lucrative contract extension in the offseason, and after three straight years without a playoff appearance, the pressure is on for him to live up to expectations.