On Saturday night, Cowboys tight end Jason Witten was named the recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which honors a player’s volunteer and charity work as well as excellence on the field.
Witten broke records for catches in a game by a tight end (18, in a loss to the Giants) as well and catches in a single season by a tight end (he finished with 110, eight better than the previous mark, held by Tony Gonzalez) in 2012, on his way to an eighth career Pro Bowl appearance.
Off the field, Witten has been highly involved in charitable organizations both in North Texas and in his home state of Tennessee. The Jason Witten SCORE Foundation puts services and programs in place to help victims of domestic abuse, and his SCOREKeepers initiative places trained male figures in women’s shelters. He has also been active in the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the NFL’s Play 60 campaign.
“You make it a part of your life," Witten said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I never said I do it for any of this. You do it to make a small impact in people’s lives.
“To be honest, this is a little bit uncomfortable. You never want to be recognized. The best part is the pureness and giving back. For me, that’s what it’s always been about. If it’s important to you, you will.
“I hope that legacy is just as much a part of my life as what kind of football player I am."
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