Retired Cowboys Jason Witten Wins Prestigious Award

Retired Cowboys Jason Witten Wins Prestigious Award

by Steve Gamel

Jason Witten won plenty of awards on and off the field during his 15 seasons in the NFL. He added another one to the trophy case last month, just one day after announcing his retirement.

The former Cowboys great was presented with the 2018 Roger Staubach Award at the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational golf tournament and gala on May 4 and 5. The event, which is in its ninth year, is a fundraising effort to directly impact the lives of thousands of North Texas children, families, and their communities.

Witten was recognized for 10 years of selfless work through his SCORE Foundation.

“Jason Witten has been the consummate professional on and off the field,” said Emmitt Smith, co-founder of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, in a press release. “He has taken what some people would see as a traumatic childhood and turned it into his own ministry. He is sharing his experience with others and trying to break the cycle of abuse by mentoring young men. Jason’s character demonstrates being a winner in life exceeds any championship you can win on the field. When you care enough to help, you can transform a person’s life, and it’s everlasting. It trickles down to many other areas.”

Per the press release, the Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational has raised more than $7.2 million over the last nine years in support of Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities and supported more than 150 charities in North Texas, including 7,000 Dallas ISD students and families through their annual back to school program and hurricane relief efforts. Proceeds from the weekend go to Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities, (PESC), a 501(c)(3) public charity that creates and funds unique educational experiences and enrichment opportunities for North Texas children.

Witten’s SCORE Foundation is a perfect representation of those efforts. Once a child of domestic violence, Witten’s goal through the SCORE Foundation is to raise awareness and to provide aid to families and individuals impacted by domestic violence and abuse. He has positively impacted thousands of children and families in both Texas and Tennessee, including domestic violence organizations such as the Denton County Friends of the Family.

And this is just a small sampling of his various outreach programs, building projects, mentoring efforts, and children’s sports camps. Per the SCORE website, they recently partnered with Albertsons to feed 110 children each week at the Boys & Girls Clubs in Dallas and Fort Worth.

Witten announced his retirement from the NFL in an emotional press conference on May 3. He remains one of the top tight ends in NFL history with 1,152 career receptions and 12,448 receiving yards. His receiving yards rank him second all-time among NFL tight ends. It is also a Cowboys record at the position.

Along with the latest Roger Staubach award, Witten won the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2012. That same year, he was presented with the Bart Starr Award. He’s also been named the Home Depot Neighborhood MVP (2008) and the Pro Football Weekly Humanitarian of the Year award in 2010.

Per the press release, the Rising Stars gala ushered in the Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament, presented by American Airlines, on Saturday, May 5 hosted at TPC Craig Ranch. Players were paired with celebrities to create foursomes to vie for bragging rights and the $5,000 purse sponsored by Waste Management.

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