Brandon Carr was honored as the Cowboys’ Man of the Year on Wednesday. For the second consecutive year, the starting cornerback becomes eligible for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes a player for his excellence on and off the field.
“Honestly, just being nominated for the second year in a row for this prestigious award is a humbling experience,” Carr said. “I take pride in this award. So many guys around the league each and every day throughout the year, throughout our tough schedules, find time to be activity in our communities, have a positive influence on our youth or whatever their passion is. I’m just blessed to have an opportunity to spread awareness about what I truly believe in – my foundation and [eliminating] illiteracy and also hopefully to carry the torch for the guys that are coming up.”
Three of the 32 nominees will be selected as finalists for the award, named for Hall of Fame running back Walter Payton, who died in 1999. The NFL will announce the finalists in January, with the winner announced at the fifth annual NFL Honors awards show the night before Super Bowl 50.
Three Cowboys have won the 46-year-old award -- Jason Witten (2012), Troy Aikman (1997) and Roger Staubach (1978).
“It would be really special to me [to win it],” Carr said. “If I’m able to win this award, I’ll just reflect back on the lessons and principals my mom instilled in me, my dad as well. Not only just playing a sport, but finding your niche, finding a platform and using it in a positive way. That’s also what I’ve tried to do since I’ve been in the NFL, alongside trying to make plays on the field, but also get after it in the offseason on my days off, getting out there with the kids.”
The Cowboys, who signed Carr in 2012, nominated the cornerback for his work with the team’s community outreach efforts as well as his own Carr Cares Foundation. Carr established his foundation to inspire young students to become proficient readers, while also encouraging them to live healthy lifestyles through physical fitness and balanced nutrition.
“We can’t play this game forever, but hopefully the mark you make, the foundations and the relationships you create while you’re playing this game, you can continue those after your playing days are over,” Carr said.