DALLAS — The Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders spent their Monday morning visiting four area children's hospitals in an annual holiday season tradition that has been carried on for the last 34 years.
The team was split up between Scottish Rite for Children in Dallas, Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Children's Health in Dallas and Medical City Children's Hospital in Dallas as players and cheerleaders met with young patients and their parents while also signing autographs and spending time with them.
"Being able to be in their presence is everything to us," Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb said. "Everybody doesn't have the same 24 hours, so seeing them and being here to support them is everything. It's a lot of things going wrong, but their spirit is always up, so we can use that as a lesson and continue going."
Kids and parents were lit up with excitement from the moment the players walked in all the way through the morning festivities that they were able to experience. While the kids themselves obviously had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it was also rewarding for the players themselves.
"We do these hospital visits every year during the holiday season and to be able to get out in the community and show our support, it just puts a lot of stuff into perspective," offensive lineman Zack Martin said. "We have a lot going on during the season, so to have the chance to get out here and see these kids is pretty special."
While the Cowboys are entering a big week with a division rival in the Philadelphia Eagles awaiting on Sunday night, the players said that Monday's experience can help propel them with the influence that the kids themselves were able to give the team.
In addition, it was also a reminder to put things into perspective for the players and to play for everyone around them.
"You gotta take it all in," wide receiver KaVontae Turpin said. "It hits you, because my Auntie is going through some of the same things these kids are going through. It kind of hits me different coming from Louisiana to be able to give hope to them. I'm happy that we're able to do that."