Kevork Djansezian/Getty Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for 2022 for his charity foundation work centered on cancer research, in honor of his mother, and suicide prevention, in his brother's memory.
Prescott, the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, won the award at Thursday night's NFL Honors.
The Walter Payton Man of the Year Award is given to an NFL player who shows "his excellence on and off the field," according to the league.
Prescott began by thanking everyone around him, from his father and siblings, to the Cowboys organization, to those working on his foundation, called the Faith Fight Finish Foundation.
— NFL Canada (@NFLCanada) February 10, 2023
But he said the most important person to than was his late mother Peggy, who died of colon cancer in 2013.
"I want to acknowledge the person who has had the biggest influence on my life, my mother, Peggy," he said. "My mother was, and still is, my moral compass. And through my own charitable contributions, I seek to share her strength and courage with with world."
"She was one of a kind," he continued, adding: "My mother inspired me and motivated me to be great despite the circumstances."
Prescott then explained that he expanded the work of his foundation after his brother Jace died by suicide in 2020.
"But since, the work also honors my brother Jase, who as you saw passed from suicide during COVID in 2020," Prescott said. "I made a promise that that would be one life taken to save millions."
— NFL (@NFL) February 10, 2023
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Every NFL team can nominate one of their players for the award. Players who are ultimately given the honor are granted $250,000 to donate to a charity of their choice. All other nominees can receive up to $40,000, given through the NFL Foundation and Nationwide, to donate to a charity.
Last year's recipient of the award was Andrew Whitworth of the Los Angeles Rams. Whitworth, 41, was given the honor for his many charitable endeavors off of the field.
Past winners also include Chris Long, J.J. Watt, Charles Tillman, Eli Manning, and Kurt Warner.