Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten who became the all-time leading receiver in the history of the Cowboys franchise this past season won yet another award Saturday night at the NFL Honors Awards at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre in New Orleans when he was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. He won over Joe Thomas and Larry Fitzgerald.
“I am extremely flattered to be chosen the 2012 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year from such an esteemed group of nominees,” said Witten. “I work hard every day not only to be a success on the football field and a credit to my team – but to be a good husband, father, son, grandson, teammate – to be the kind of man that is as respected as Walter Payton was. Like others before me, I have a great opportunity as an NFL player to make a difference in the lives of others. It is honestly humbling to be recognized in such a manner for simply doing what I feel is right and human. I am fortunate to have a great support system in my family, the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL which allows me to make an impact in the communities and with people who love our game.”
In his 10 NFL season with Dallas Witten has become one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and is Tony Romo’s go to guy on critical downs. He has been selected to the Pro Bowl eight times, and is as active off the field in the Dallas area when he isn’t preparing to play on the field.
He serves as the Cowboys spokesman for NFL PLAY 60, has his own charitable foundation, SCORE, and has started several programs and been the financial backer for several building projects in his home state of Tennessee, as well as in the Dallas area.
The selection panel for the award is comprised of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, Walter Payton’s widow Connie Payton, Pro Football Hall of Fame members Frank Gifford and Anthony Munoz, last year’s winner Matt Birk and Sports Illustrated writer Peter King.