NFL Man Of The Year Nominees | NFL.com

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Dak Prescott

DALLAS COWBOYS

Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Quarterback Mississippi State University 6

Demonstrates Excellence on the Field

The Cowboys picked Dak Prescott out of Mississippi State with the team's second selection in the fourth round (135th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. Dak was thrust into the starting lineup after Tony Romo suffered a back injury during the preseason and ended up leading the Cowboys on an 11-game win streak and earning the NFC East Division crown. Dak set club rookie records and was the first rookie quarterback in team history named to the Pro Bowl and the first to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts this Year

The adversity affecting the entire country impacted Dak deeply, spurring him to action. He expanded the reach of his Faith Fight Finish (FFF) foundation, increasing its objectives and redefining its mission to read: The Faith Fight Finish Foundation invests in a better future by empowering individuals, families, and communities to find strength through adversity. The foundation focuses on three main initiatives: cancer research, mental health, and suicide prevention, and bridging the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Despite a season-ending injury and the loss of his brother to suicide, Dak tackled 2021 with a renewed sense of purpose and optimism. He is not deterred by adversity; instead, he makes it his inspiration, and he is steadfastly devoted to helping others do the same. Dak is so passionate about the foundation's work that he has committed $1 million of his 2021 salary to FFF, with personal contributions exceeding the funds raised by any other means. The senseless murder of George Floyd highlighted a long-ignored problem within our police departments. Dak lent his voice to the dialogue, penning an op-ed and vowing to act to rid communities of racism, racial profiling, and hate and pledging $1 million to police training, education, and advocacy. Dak is deeply committed to helping build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. FFF created a Law Enforcement Steering Committee (LESC) made up of youth, community leaders, and law enforcement to inform the development of a police training program that addresses systemic racism through education and advocacy. FFF is also working to bring the CYCLE training program to communities across the country.

No one is more aware of the mental toll COVID-19 took on individuals than Dak after losing his big brother, Jace, to suicide during the pandemic. Dak made a promise that Jace would be "a life taken to save millions." He is determined to champion those who battle mental illness by helping them know they are not alone, find their purpose and realize that their lives matter. FFF is actively collaborating with AFSP to implement a mental health/suicide prevention curriculum in schools to make the suicide prevention hotline more accessible by making it a 3-digit number (988).

In honor of his mother, Peggy, who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2013, Dak continues the original mission of FFF and the fight against cancer. The team also works to provide free colonoscopy screenings in the minority and medically underserved communities. In May 2021, Dak and FFF partnered with Our Calling and Premiere Auto Dallas to provide a brand-new car to a single mother who recently graduated from Our Calling and now lives at home with a full-time job. Dak's empathy and ability to connect deeply with people are at the core of his charitable work. A single mother with a young son, Dianne Cross, was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon and liver cancer in 2015. During treatment, she could not work, so FFF covered housing, groceries, and other basic living expenses. When Diane lost her battle, FFF helped cover the costs of her funeral. Likewise, when Dak learned of a high school football player from his hometown that died unexpectedly, he covered the boy's funeral costs in full.

Demonstrates Dedication and Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past

When our country was hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and schools were suddenly shut down, FFF granted nearly $65,000 to organizations providing resources to first responders and those impacted by the health crisis, including children without daily access to free school lunch programs. FFF worked with Operation Progress, donating to their grocery program for families in need and their Summer Bridge Program that helps students stay on track for academic success by providing access to laptops and Wi-Fi. In Dak's home state of Louisiana, FFF purchased the Haughton Fire Department an AeroClave Disinfecting System to sanitize fire trucks.

In his quest for racial equity, Dak helped to raise awareness for Julius Jones' commutation application in June 2020 by reaching out personally to Governor Stitt and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board Members with a letter. FFF donated to Represent Justice to support its "Justice for Julius" campaign, garnered national support, and restored Jones' hope that his wrongful conviction would be overturned. When Hurricane Laura struck in August 2020, FFF worked directly with City Councilwoman Diane Conner from Vinton, Louisiana (where Dak's grandmother lives) to help those affected.

Demonstrates Consistency in Positive Character and Models a Lifestyle of Giving Back

When Dak launched FFF, he had his sights set on accomplishing great things right from the start. He had lost his mother three years prior and was determined to use his platform as a member of America's team to pay forward the lessons he learned from her about making adversity your inspiration. As his platform has grown, so have his aspirations for the foundation. Dak is genuinely passionate about the welfare of others, constantly researching topics that inspire him, causes he wants to get involved with, and people he wants to meet. He is extremely hands-on and leads with his heart, and his character and integrity.