Jason Witten retired from the Dallas Cowboys after 15 years on Thursday and walked in the footsteps of one of the franchise’s all-time legends when he was given the Roger Staubach Award at Emmitt Smith’s Rising Stars Gala Friday at the Omni in Frisco.
The Roger Staubach Award recognizes sports and or entertainment professionals who positively impact the lives of children by living courageously and creating opportunities for today's youths.
Past honorees include Larry Fitzgerald, Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw, Marjorie and Steve Harvey and Cookie and Magic Johnson.
Witten proved to be the perfect recipient even before he decided to retire from his future Hall of Fame career with the Cowboys to join ESPN as the lead analyst on "Monday Night Football."
Witten, who grew up as a child of domestic violence, has used his SCORE Foundation to positively impact tens of thousands of children and families in Texas and Tennessee over the last decade.
The foundation operates its nationally recognized SCOREkeepers program, which places trained male mentors on staff to work with children at family violence shelters — nine shelters in the two states.
While Witten may have never won a title with the Cowboys, like Smith or Staubach, he is a winner and a legend in life because of the impact he’s had on others.
“Jason Witten has been the consummate professional on and off the field,” Smith said. “He has taken what some people call a tragedy and turned into his own ministry. He is sharing his platform with others and trying to make sure that platform does not occur in the next person’s life.
“Being a winner in life can exceed any championship you can actually win. When you transform another person’s life with whatever help you may provide, it’s everlasting. It trickles down to many other areas.”