Josh Allen has developed into one of the best players in the NFL, and now he can add another title to his résumé: Madden cover athlete. On Wednesday, EA Sports announced that Allen will be featured on the cover of Madden 24, the upcoming edition of the venerable video game franchise.

The Bills quarterback spoke with Sports Illustrated’s Robin Lundberg about the honor, and Allen explained how grateful he is to adorn the cover of a game he played as a kid.

“It’s such a dream come true for me,” Allen said. “The dream was always to play in the NFL, but growing up and playing Madden and having so many different experiences and memories of playing with my brother and my dad on this great game, and now to be on the cover, it’s pretty surreal.”

Since its inception, Madden has featured 22 different athletes on its cover, in addition to John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach for whom the game is named. However, Allen becomes the first Buffalo Bills player to grace the cover of the video game, and he understands the gravity of the honor.

“It means a lot to Bills Mafia and Western New York,” Allen said. “I know they’re looking forward to this. It’s been a long time.”

Allen, 27, admitted Madden helped him understand football as a child, and he called the video game “the most realistic experience you can get” outside of stepping on a field.

“That’s how I learned the game of football,” Allen said. “That’s how I knew what Cover 3 is, or Cover 4, Cover 2. That’s how I knew what penalties, offsides, false starts and roughing the passer and stuff like that. That’s literally how I learned the game of football growing up, was playing with my brother, my dad and my friends, and we’d play nonstop.”

Allen has played in 65 regular season games for the Bills since 2019, finishing among the top three in MVP voting twice and throwing for over 4,200 yards with at least 35 touchdown passes in three straight years.

As a player, he has a style fit for a video game, and now he’s the face of one.