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Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year

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DeMarcus Lawrence on Walter Payton Man of the Year nomination: 'I'm proud'


FRISCO, Texas — On Tuesday morning, the Dallas Cowboys announced that veteran defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is the team's 2023 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award one year after Dak Prescott took home the league award in 2022.

For Lawrence – who is a first-time nominee – the honor is a big one as it shows the type of person he is off the field when the cameras and spotlight isn't highlighting what he's doing every moment.

"I'm proud I can represent the Cowboys and my family," Lawrence said. "It's such an honor. I mean, next thing now is to win it. Keep doing what I'm doing in the community, spreading love. That's what it's all about."

Most of the qualities that have been instilled in Lawrence since he was a kid have become who he is in his adulthood both in the locker room, at home and in the community. His nomination highlights how important those traits have been to not just him, but to the people around him.

"I really pride myself on my integrity," he said. "Just doing the right thing when nobody is looking. I preach that to my family each and every day. That's just the standard I want to live by. Definitely going to keep doing what I'm doing. It doesn't matter who's watching."

Lawrence's contributions have included financial contributions to the homeless both in Dallas-Fort Worth and beyond as well as showing support for the North Texas Food Bank and other non-profit causes, but his favorite community effort is the impact he's been able to make on the local youth.

"I think giving back to the kids, man," he said about what he's most proud of. "It just warms my heart to see the effect us as professional football players or entertainers have on the community, how much kids look up to us. Whatever I can do to bring joy to a household or to a family, that's all good."

Lawrence realizes how blessed he was as a kid to have a strong home, and he sees it as his responsibility to give that back into his community as an adult.

"Really, my father being in my life and being by my side through all of my transgressions, really, showed me that everybody needs that," Lawrence said. "Just want to make sure I'm giving to the community what my dad gave me."