Dak Prescott pays tribute to late mother in Walter Payton’s Man of the Year speech
dalas cowboy midfielder Dak Prescott used his platform as NFLThe recipient of the Man of the Year award was Walter Payton for paying tribute to his mother, whom he called his “moral compass” and his inspiration.
The two-time Pro Bowl champion lost his mother, Peggy, to cancer in 2013 when he was a quarterback at Mississippi State. He also paid tribute to his late brother, Jace, who committed suicide in 2020.
“My mother was and still is my moral compass,” Prescott said as he accepted the award on Thursday night at the NFL Title. “Through my own charitable donations, I want to share her strength and courage with the world.
“My mother told me when she was diagnosed with cancer, ‘All greats have a story. Let me be your story.’ She is my ‘why’. And with these words, just as my mother did and always does, she inspired and motivated me to be great beyond all circumstances. I.”
Prescott is the fourth Cowboys player to win the award, along with Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and former teammate Jason Witten.
The award — recipients chosen from 32 nominees, one on each team — is presented to an NFL player for his community service activities, as well as success on the field.
The midfielder said there is no doubt the award ranks among the many trophies he has received in his career.
“It’s easy – it’s number one,” Prescott told reporters the following Thursday. “When your mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, she had only a few months to live, she broke the news to you and she said to you, ‘Hey, all great people have a story. Let me be your story.’
“That’s what this award means to me.”
Prescott’s Faith Fight Finish Foundation has raised funds for many causes, including colon cancer research. The midfielder is also very open about suicide prevention and mental health. To win the prize, Prescott’s foundation received $255,000. The other 31 finalists receive $55,000 for the charity of their choice.
“I’ve always been obsessed with football since I was a kid,” Prescott said. “When she introduced me, she said ‘This is my Heisman winner.’
“Obviously I didn’t win that. But I think if I could trade that for Walter Payton’s Man of the Year, my mom would be very proud.”
The award is named after late rerunner and Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton. The Los Angeles Rams Offensive guide Andrew Whitworth was last year’s winner.
Associated Press report.
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