Every year since 1970, the National Football League has honored a player that goes above and beyond to give back to their community while excelling on the field of play. Known as the Walter Payton Man Of The Year Award since 1999 (the year the Chicago Bears' Hall of Fame RB passed away), the Dallas Cowboys' 2017 nominee is starting C Travis Frederick.
Next month, three finalists will be chosen out of the current field of 32 nominees, and Cowboys Nation will know further if their three-time Pro Bowl center can become the fourth Cowboy to win this award.
TE Jason Witten is the most recent member of America's Team to take home this prestigious honor back in 2012, meaning that he will play the rest of his career with this sleek jersey decal that was revealed last night.
New tradition starting tonite: Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year winners to wear special patch on their jerseys to recognize their contributions to their communities. @saints @drewbrees among the 5 current winners pic.twitter.com/A1gP4HPffe
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) December 8, 2017
As their 2017 nominee, Frederick will sport the same logo as a helmet decal. The issue Travis Frederick has grappled with the most since being drafted by the Cowboys is hunger among school children and low-income families.
Frederick's Blocking Out Hunger Foundation includes a pantry that provides over 10,000 meals a year and his Nourish2Flourish program is on pace to provide students 90,000 meals by the end of this year.
This video from the NFL's release of the 2017 Walter Payton Man Of The Year nominees shows the full range of people Frederick has impacted with his generosity and outreach as a star for a Cowboys team that consistently strives to lead the league in these efforts.
.@dak, @tfrederick72 & @DCC_Tasha visiting @MedicalCityKids, spending time with patients and staff. #CowboysGiveBack pic.twitter.com/rOUbQg9xtD
— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) December 4, 2017
On the field, Travis Frederick has dealt with multiple LGs starting next to him, anchoring the Cowboys' offensive line through these transitions with his steady play and leadership. Originally seen as a reach of a draft pick, Frederick has blown past most draft projections for him out of Wisconsin in 2013 thanks to his intelligence at the center position.
Taking this same approach to his community service efforts, Frederick is now at the center of an award that all 32 teams would be proud to have on their team for the Dallas Cowboys.
Congratulations to Travis Frederick and the 31 other nominees from around the National Football League.