Prescott wins award, gives back to community the next day

The Boys and Girls Club of the Valley hosted a Walter Payton Man of the Year event where nominees for the award came and participated in events with the kids. (Max Olsan/MEDILL)

By Max Olsan
Medill Reports

The Cowboys’ Dak Prescott, who won the 2022-23 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, was joined by his fellow nominees for a day with members of the Boys and Girls Club of the Valley on Friday. The players talked, threw passes and ran through drills with the kids, all in an effort to emphasize the NFL’s community and reach to the younger generation.


ROGER GOODELL, NFL commissioner: Walter Payton was a great player in the NFL. But more importantly he was a great man, and this award is designed to acknowledge the great men we have playing in our game, which I know Walter would love. It is probably the hardest job to figure out which of these 32 ultimately get the award. But Dak is the kind of young man that we are all very proud of. So, Dak, congratulations on this award, we couldn’t be more proud of you. 

[Crowd cheers] 

DAK PRESCOTT, Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner: One of these men of all of these nominees. One of these men will be in my position next year, and that’s how it goes. 

[Music plays] 

PRESCOTT: I just wanted to say thank you, guys, for having us here. Obviously we are a piece of the nominees that are representing the Walter Payton Man of the Year, excited to be here, and we enjoyed the time we spent here with you guys, but more importantly it’s about you guys. The 12 of you, the youth of the year, I just want to say congratulations for all the work that you do. You’re the future leaders of America, and everything that we want to do and we are trying to do within the communities, you guys are the ones who are going to follow and make sure that you continue to do that within this community, so we thank you. With that being said, we want to congratulate you for all the hard work but more importantly say enjoy the Super Bowl on behalf of the NFL. 

[Crowd cheers and applauds] 

Max Olsan is a sports media graduate student at Medill. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.