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‘Love you, Mama’: Dak Prescott selected as 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year, speaks on family and mental health

Thursday night, was recognized with what the NFL calls their most prestigious accolade. At the annual ceremony, he was named the 2022 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.

This distinction is bestowed upon an NFL player that displays excellence on the field and also shows an impactful commitment to philanthropy off the field. Every year, each of the NFL's teams nominates a potential recipient of the (WPMOTY) Award. A panel of judges which includes the previous year's winner, the commissioner of the NFL, and a number of former players selects the winner.

Prescott is the fourth Cowboys player to receive the award. Other star-donning recipients include (1978), (1997), and (2012).

“As a Dallas Cowboy, I am honored to join the prior recipients of this award, such [a] prestigious award,” Prescott said during his acceptance speech, “Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman, and Jason Witten. These are men who I look up to and have learned so much from. Being recognized alongside them [is something] I will never take for granted and is something I will take pride in forever.”


In the Spring of 2022, Dak Prescott succeeded Roger Staubach and joined Troy Aikman as the co-chair of the Children's Cancer Fund Gala. The Children's Cancer Fund is a nonprofit organization based in Dallas that raises funds to benefit pediatric cancer research and treatment programs in North Texas. The gala is an annual fundraiser for pediatric cancer research and awareness in North Texas and throughout the country.

Later in the year, Dak also partnered with fellow WPMOTY nominee, Solomon Thomas (), to provide suicide prevention training for teachers.

Dak's most notable philanthropic endeavor is the work done for his Faith Fight Finish Foundation.

The FFF Foundation was founded by Dak Prescott in 2017 as a tribute to his mother, Peggy. She lost her battle to colon cancer in 2013 when Dak was still in college. The work of the foundation also honors his brother, Jace, who he lost to suicide in 2020.

The foundation focuses on four main initiatives:

  • colon cancer research
  • mental health & suicide prevention
  • bridging the gap between law enforcement, youth, and the communities they serve
  • offering assistance to those facing life-challenging hardships


Much of Dak's acceptance speech focused on his family and their influence on his community work.

“My mother was, and still is, my moral compass. Through my own charitable contributions, I seek to share her strength and courage with the world. She was one of a kind,” Prescott said. “My mother told me when she was diagnosed with cancer that, ‘All greats have a story. Allow me to be your story.' She is my ‘why.' And with these words, just as she does and always did, my mother inspired me and motivated me to be great beyond the circumstances. And it was in her honor I started my foundation in 2017 and named it the ‘Faith Fight Finish' – the three words she left me and my brothers.”

The 29-year old also acknowledged his older brother, Jace. He said that ever since Jace took his own life in 2020, the foundation honored him through its work. Prescott said he “made a promise that that would be one life taken to save millions.”

Dak also thanked his father and older brother, Tad, for their personal support as well as their support of the efforts of the FFF Foundation.


Prescott is known for his messages of empathy, love, and support. 

During the ceremony, a pre-recorded reel was shown just before his acceptance speech. In it, Dak Prescott spoke about the importance of mental health and having support during difficult times.

“Not holding those feelings in, I think it's huge. I htink it's huge to talk, huge to get help, and it saves lives,” the said, “I'm just showing people how to express their adversity to allow it to become their strength. I know my mom. It's what she would want.”

Prescott concluded, “If each of us can find a way every day, big or small, to make a difference for someone, that love will spread exponentially, and that is how we will make this world a better place than we found it. I'm so, so, so honored, so honored to receive this award. Thank you all and God bless. Love you, Mama.”


Jazz Monet
Jazz Monet
Sports culture analyst. Sports competition enthusiast. Host of Bitches Love Sports podcast. Personal trainer. Roller derby athlete and trainer.

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