DALLAS, Texas – It was a logical date on the Cowboys' calendar, but it could count as fortuitous timing. The morning after their worst loss in two months, Dak Prescott gave back, as he and his teammates served an early Thanksgiving meal to those in need at The Salvation Army.
"After a performance like that, after the way we played and just after a tough loss, it's easy to just lay in bed and pout and be sad," Prescott said. "But, as I said, you come and do events like this, it brightens my day. As I said, it puts it into perspective how important life is outside of the game of football and my impact on it."
The Cowboys' second-year quarterback was sacked eight times and hassled all day long by Atlanta on Sunday, as the Falcons eventually pulled away for a 27-7 win. But, just 12 hours after the team returned to Dallas, Prescott joined with Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Jason Witten, Tyrone Crawford, Joe Looney and other members of the Cowboys' organization to give back.
Views of the Dallas Cowboys serving Thanksgiving lunch at The Salvation Army Carr P. Collins Social Service Center in Dallas, Texas.
The organization serves this meal every November, regardless of record. Cowboys players served the same meal in the midst of last year's 11-game win streak. Monday's circumstances felt more fitting, however, as the Cowboys' recent defeat did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the dozens of fans that turned out for the event.
"Even though it was a tough loss, to be able to come in here today and see so many great fans and have so much challenging situations around them, to be able to put a smile on their face and for them to be able to tell us, 'Hang in there. You're going to get back on track,' really reminds you of the platform we have and the opportunity," Witten said.
That was the overriding theme of the morning, as players served meals, talked to fans, signed autographs and posed for pictures. Frederick, who takes efforts to combat childhood hunger with his own Blocking Out Hunger Foundation said the event offered some good perspective of life outside football.
"I think my favorite part of these things is just the smiles on the faces of the people that need this food. And everybody's excited around Thanksgiving," he said. "You don't think about it when you're sitting down for your great meal that everybody doesn't get a chance to have that meal."
On a morning when the Cowboys might have needed it more than most, it was a well-timed reminder.
"Obviously, football-wise, you go through yesterday and then to come back today, and it just puts it into perspective what life is about," Prescott said.