DALLAS, Texas –The Cowboys have been putting smiles on several faces over the last month, thanks to a four-game winning streak that has turned their season around.
But nothing could compare to the smiles they put on the faces of hundreds of children and their families on Monday for the annual hospital visits the team did around Dallas and Fort Worth.
Each year at the beginning of December, the players, along with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders divide up into four groups to visit kids at various hospitals.
Dak Prescott, who was at Children's Medical Center in Dallas, said moments like this can put things in a perspective.
"It's much bigger than the wins and losses," Prescott said. "If anything, this always kind of humbles you and keeps you grounded, no matter what the record is — no matter how many wins you've won in a row or losses or whatever it may be. Just to see the real-life aspect of it, of people going through that adversity — not losses, but fighting for their lives. It's great obviously to come in here when you're winning, but when you come in here you get humbled quickly."
At Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence visited a 2-year-old who had just woken up and wasn't exactly ready for visitors, even if they were donning Cowboys jerseys, stocking caps and had presents. However, D-Law asked the hospital attendant if he could circle back in a few minutes to see her again, which he did, much to the joy of the girl who was in much better spirits the second-time around.
"That's the main thing – if we're going to do something, it's all about doing it for real," Lawrence said. "I love preaching that to our guys. If we're going to come here and see the kids, we're going to make sure before we leave we see a smile on their faces. That was the main thing today."
At Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, center Joe Looney was overwhelmed by one family.
"We had a little girl Fernanda up there and she was so cute," Looney said. "She was with her sister and her mom. Just to see her reaction when we walked into the room, it was unbelievable. It puts a smile on our face."
Crawford, who was with Looney at Scottish Rite, also said seeing the smiles is the best part of the trip.
"You always get a smile when you walk in there, or if not, a shocked-happy face," Crawford said. "It's always good to see and we're blessing to be able to do this."
The Cowboys also went to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, where rookies such as Leighton Vander Esch and Michael Gallup were able to spread the joy as well.
- Rob Phillips and David Helman contributed to the story.