"We're very similar in that we both appreciate the hometown feel to a lot of things, and live our life like that," Romo, described as "big, easy, handsome," tells the June issue of Vanity Fair (on sale in New York and Los Angeles May 6 and nationally May 12). "She comes to a ton of games," he says. "She's a supportive girlfriend."
Not that this has been unanimously viewed as an advantage. In what at the time was perceived as a curse – and, as Vanity Fair's Rich Cohen points out, in Texas where the Cowboys are a religion, Simpson's dating Romo is like she's dating the Pope – the couple vacationed in Mexico before the Cowboys lost to the New York Giants in the 2008 NFL playoffs. The Giants, meanwhile, went on to win the Super Bowl.
According to Romo, 29, between games, "A lot of people head to Vegas, go back to their hometowns, colleges, and stuff. I was just like, 'Let's rent a house and sit around and watch football.' It seemed like a good decision. But when you're in the public eye, things can be perceived differently."
He adds, "You know, it's very hard when you lose, because games are important, and so many people put so much time and effort in. It's nice to have someone to come home to and try and make you feel better."
Simpson, 28, concurs. "That's how the story goes," she says. "Can't help it. But we don't let it affect our relationship. If we did, we wouldn't be together, because it happened at the very beginning. Dating the Cowboys quarterback comes with hype, the fans, the bloggers, but I've never dated a guy that was more simple. I'm always there for him after a game, and he knows he has me to come home to."
Many Setbacks, TooHome is definitely an important refuge, because, as the profile also chronicles, life isn't always easy for Simpson. Her "sudden weight gain," though apparently now under control, left her looking "less than slender," the magazine reports. Then there are her professional highs and lows, which include a not particularly enviable movie box-office record and a musical identity that is anything but constant, prompting Sony Music head Tommy Mottola to say, "I think she absolutely needs to re-invent herself."
At the same time, Mottola (who signed Simpson to her first label, in 1997), warns Simpson against flip-flopping between pop, Christian rock and country music – and thereby confusing her audience.
In the face of such challenges, Simpson, underscoring her spiritual self, says, "We all go through trials, but not one thing has ever made me question God. I have a great relationship with God. I can talk to him, get mad at him, frustrated with him. But, ultimately, my faith is what defines me."
Besides, she adds, "There will always be another opportunity, another door to walk through."