ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys raised more than $2 million during a 90-minute telethon broadcast live locally and on social media, with owner and general manager Jerry Jones making a $1 million donation to The Salvation Army's effort to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant was on the receiving end of Jones' phone call.
"Mr. Jones being Mr. Jones," Bryant said. "I think it was great. A real super cool thing, he donated a million dollars. That's a lot of money. It was great. It was so great to see these guys, us, teaming with Salvation Army to try to put that smile back on Houston's face. Anything that we could do to help, you all can see we're doing it. And we can only imagine. We don't know how they're feeling. They need love and support right now, and I think we're doing an outstanding job of doing it."
The Cowboys came up with the idea for the telethon after their preseason game with the Houston Texans was cancelled Wednesday. More than 30 current players took calls directly, and former players such as Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett, Dixon Edwards, Tony Casillas and Tyler Clutts helped as well.
"It's actually a lot tougher than you'd think from far away, but it was good," said wide receiver Cole Beasley, who did not take a break during the telethon. "A lot of people were calling in, and it wasn't like, 'Oh, Dallas Cowboys, cool, I get to talk to you.' They were about their business, and people really wanted to donate money, so it was a great thing."
Beasley said the largest donation he received was $500, and there were many that were close to that figure.
"You want to help any way that you can," Beasley said. "If we're going to be here and not there helping, we have to do something, so got to be as productive as we can with the time that we have. I think a lot of the guys, all of them did take it seriously and did a good job of taking as many phone calls as we could. I don't know how much money we made today for Houston, but hopefully we did our part."
Bryant said he was heading to a local Sam's Club after the telethon to fill up two U-Haul trucks with food, water and other necessities and deliver them to the Salvation Army.
"I hate that this situation had to happen, but the good thing about it is it brings unity," said Bryant, who made a $50,000 donation to The Salvation Army earlier in the week. "This is the perfect opportunity to show unity. I think we're doing a great job of it. Hopefully when everything gets back where it needs to be, us seeing Houston smile, hopefully the great state of Texas can show what real unity is."