IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys officially recognized DeMarco Murray as their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award on Thursday morning.
Team nominees for all 32 clubs were announced for the honor on Tuesday. Presented by Nationwide, the award recognizes not just on-field excellence, but a player's commitment to off-the-field community service and philanthropy.
"This year our nominee is not only the NFL's leading rusher, but he is also a leader in the community," said Cowboys executive vice president Charlotte Jones Anderson. "Our nominee has his own foundation that he started a few years ago. He's committed to helping those in need in our area, and helping them with education, helping them support where they need the assistance."
Along with the nomination, Nationwide presented a $10,000 donation to the DeMarco Murray foundation, which provides educational support and resources to Dallas-area youths in need.
"It's a privilege to be nominated for this great award, and I definitely don't take it lightly," Murray said. "Helping the youth definitely touches my heart, and doing whatever I can for the youth outside of football. I've been blessed and fortunate to do what I love to do, and it's all I can do to help in any way, shape or form."
Murray is having a banner year within the confines of the football field, as well. He's been the league's top rusher – essentially since the start of the season. His 1,687 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns lead the NFL, and he has also added another 54 receptions for 395 yards.
Three of the league's 32 nominees will be announced as the finalists in January 2015. The winner will be announced in Arizona on January 31, 2015 – the day before Super Bowl XLIX – during the 4th Annual NFL Honors awards show.