FRISCO, Texas – Last spring, J.J. Wilcox showed he had skills with a baseball bat. One year later, he proved he hasn't lost them.
Wilcox, who was all-conference as a baseball player in high school, once again ran away with the Cowboys' sixth-annual Reliant Home Run Derby on Tuesday at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.
It was the second-straight year the veteran safety won the event, which donates its earnings to The Salvation Army. The Cowboys generated a grand total of $50,000 on the day – and Wilcox accounted for a whopping $11,300 of that.
"I love the game – it was my second passion," Wilcox said. "The NFL called me and I'm glad to be there, but baseball was my second passion."
In total, nine Cowboys players and head coach Jason Garrett competed in the event, and each participant was given three at-bats. Each base hit in the competition earned a $100 donation from Reliant to the Gene and Jerry Jones North Texas Youth Education Town of The Salvation Army Arlington. Each home run ball earned a whopping $500.
Wilcox accounted for roughly 23 percent of the earnings, while Garrett came in second with a total of $7,000. Jason Witten finished third with a $6,200 mark. The rest of the field – Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin, Tyrone Crawford, Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr – combined to put together the $50,000 total.[embeddedad0]
"This is our sixth year of having the home run derby, and over the last six years we've raised over $300,000 for The Salvation Army – and that's money that's going here in the greater Dallas area. So it's really giving back to the community," said Bill Clayton, Executive Director, NRG Retail Charitable Foundation.
Wilcox wasn't the only Cowboy to step up to the plate in a big way, as both Garrett and Witten enjoyed big afternoons. Garrett managed an event-best 27 hits, and he added four home runs, while Witten hit 26 base hits and six home runs.
Garrett has traditionally been one of the top performers at the annual event, but he was very familiar with Wilcox's abilities after last year's showing. The Cowboys split into an offensive and defensive team, and it might not have been a coincidence to see Garrett side with Wilcox's side.
"The numbers fell. There were four defensive guys, so I had to just balance it out – five offense, four defense, so I'll balance it out," Garrett said. "But I did see J.J. strike the ball well here last year, so it was an easy decision."
Wilcox didn't just put on a clinic for his teammates, but several dozen children from the Youth Education Town were on hand to take in the event.
"The more money I can raise, it's better for the kids – so that's what it's about," Wilcox said.
Highlights from the Dallas Cowboys annual Reliant Home Run Derby benefiting the Salvation Army at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco.