Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys has been named the 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year.
Prescott received the honor during the NFL Honors program on Thursday night.
The Cowboys quarterback was nominated as the team’s representative for his efforts to broaden the mission of his Faith Fight Finish (FFF) Foundation, which now focuses on four major initiatives: colon cancer research, mental health, and suicide prevention bridging the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and assisting those facing life-challenging hardships.
Click here for more information on the FFF Foundation and its activities and initiatives.
Prescott paid tribute to his mother, Peggy, who died of cancer in 2013, in his victory speech on Thursday night.
“My mother was and continues to be my moral compass,” Prescott explained. “Through my own charity activities, I hope to share her strength and courage with the world. She was exceptional.”
“When my mother was stricken with cancer, she told me, ‘All greats have a narrative. ‘Please let me be your tale.’ She represents my ‘why.’
And with these words, my mother encouraged and pushed me to be great regardless of the circumstances, just like she always has.
In her honor, I founded my foundation in 2017 and titled it “Faith, fight, finish” – the three words she left for me and my brothers.”
Prescott also remembered his late brother, Jace, who committed suicide in 2020. Prescott spoke about his foundation’s efforts, saying that his brother’s sacrifice will be “one life taken to save millions.”
Prescott concluded his address by pointing to the sky and saying, “Love you, Mama.”
Watch Prescott’s full acceptance speech
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued the following statement in response to Prescott’s award:
“The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is one of the most prestigious trophies in professional sports, and no one is more worthy than Dak Prescott.
Dak has demonstrated the heart and spirit that characterize and define this award from the beginning. He’s a star on the field, but he’s also a character-driven role model off the field.
As an organization, we couldn’t be more proud of Dak and the tremendous influence and spirit he has on others. This is a great honor not just for Dak, but also for the numerous others whose lives he has touched.”
The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, established in 1970, honors an NFL player for his achievements both on and off the field.
In 1999, the trophy was renamed after the late Hall of Fame Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton.
Each year, the winner of the award gets a $250,000 donation to the recipient’s charity of choice. The remaining 31 candidates will each earn up to $40,000 given to their charity of choice.
Prescott joins the following Dallas Cowboys in receiving the award:
- 1978, Roger Staubach
- 1997, Aikman, Troy
- 2012, Jason Witten