Jessica Simpson and Tony Romo
Evan Agostini/AP; Frazer Harrison/ACMA/Getty
10/18/2008 AT 10:00 AM EDT
performed for thousands of fans at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas Friday night, but made sure one man in the crowd, her boyfriend Tony Romo, was the center of attention.
"Wow, I love Dallas," the singer told the crowd at the city's Fair Park, just east of downtown. "Obviously, I love Dallas because I grew up here and this is my home – you guys are my family – but I did find an amazing boyfriend here in Dallas!"
Cheers erupted for the Cowboys quarterback, who smiled, looking on from the sound area. Although some fans were clearly more interested in watching him watch Simpson perform – their backs were to the stage the entire time – Romo didn't seem to mind the attention. He grinned as Simpson, 28, called him "the calm of the storm in my life" and said, "Whatever I go through, I know I can depend on him to relax and bring me faith again."
Before singing "My Sunday," she added, "This is a song I wrote about a certain someone who throws that football really good." Simpson giggled and Romo, 28, beamed.
Nursing a broken pinky
and chatting with Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, Romo bobbed his head with the music and was caught singing along to a few songs. When Simpson hit a powerful note during "Do You Know," he clapped in awe.
The admiration was mutual. "Sometimes, to find a love as big as that, you have to go through some heartbreak, some ugly ones and some butthead ones," Simpson told the crowd. "You go through that to really appreciate where you are in life right now."
Speaking of "buttheads," she said she wrote the song "Still Don't Stop Me" about an ex. "For some reason, I kept letting some guy come into my life. I couldn't understand it until I wrote this song and was like, 'Jessica, you need to wake up.'"
Midway through the show, Simpson left the stage as her band was introduced. Romo, protected by police, was also escorted backstage. He returned to the sound booth when she took the stage again.