For the second time in his career, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten has been named a finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which honors players for their work both in the community and on the field.
As for the “on the field” part of the equation, Witten broke the NFL record for receptions in a single-season by a tight end in 2012, finishing with 110--eight better than the previous mark of 102, set by Tony Gonzalez. He also broke Kellen Winslow’s record for catches in a game by a tight end with an 18-catch performance in a loss to the Giants. For his trouble, Witten was named to his eighth career Pro Bowl.
Off the field, Witten has been making an impact since he arrived in Dallas in 2003. His SCORE Foundation supports victims of domestic abuse both in North Texas and his home state of Tennessee, and his SCOREKeepers program places trained, male mentors in women’s shelters throughout the state. Witten is also highly active in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the NFL’s Play 60 initiative.
The other finalists are Cardinals receiver Larry Fitgerald and Browns tackle Joe Thomas.
Witten was also a finalist for the honor in 2007, when Dolphins’ defensive end Jason Taylor won it.
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