FRISCO, Texas – Quarterback Dak Prescott is the Cowboys’ nominee for the 2018 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award, which honors a player who shows outstanding commitment to philanthropy and community service in addition to their performance on the field.
All 32 teams have a nominee, and the winner will be announced Feb. 2 during the “NFL Honors” awards special on Super Bowl weekend.
"The Man of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to acknowledge 32 exemplary players whose commitment to excellence extends on and off the field," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "This year's nominees have used their platforms to transform communities across the country. We are proud of their work and celebrate their dedication and impact through this award."
In honor of his late mother, Peggy, Prescott created his Fight Finish Faith Foundation to empower individuals, families and communities in battles against cancer and other life-challenging hardships.
"Honestly, it goes back to my mom," Prescott said after Thursday's practice. "Honestly, that's what I think of, her saying, 'Allow me to be your story.' Just doing that, it allows me and motivates me and inspires me to do things off the field to stick my hand out and help others. I think it's just a testament of that.
"I think she'd be proud. I know she'd be proud, and that's what means a lot to me. But probably what means even more is making sure I'm progressively out there moving forward and trying to help people and make a difference and be a helping hand to a lot of people out there."
Prescott also supports youth initiatives, partnering with the Just Keep Livin Foundation that implements after-school fitness and wellness programs in inner-city high schools. He also has been actively involved The Salvation Army, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and other community outreach programs.
The 2018 award winner will have $500,000 donated in his name -- $250,000 donated to expand Character Playbook, the NFL and United Way's digital character education program, and additional donation of $250,000 donated to the charity of his choice. The other 31 nominees will receive a donation of $50,000 in their name to expand Character Playbook and an additional donation of up to $50,000 to their charity of choice. All donations are courtesy of the NFL Foundation, Nationwide and United Way Worldwide.
Former Cowboys greats Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Jason Witten have won the prestigious honor in the past.
"I'm humbled to say the least," Prescott said, "just to be a nominee and represent the Dallas Cowboys on behalf of all the great players, and not only great players, but great men in this locker room."