IRVING, Texas -- Brandon Carr has always wanted to be more than a jock. The veteran cornerback has always wanted to make a lasting impression on his community, and give youngsters an opportunity to develop the values his parents instilled in him.
Carr’s commitment to that is why he was the Dallas Cowboys' nominee for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award. It’s the second consecutive year the club has honored Carr for his community service.
"It's ultimately part of your legacy, combining both on and off the field," Carr said. “Truly, off the field is where you really make your mark, I believe, changing lives, leaving a lasting impression on people.
"They see you with a helmet on and they just think of you as an athlete or a hard-bodied individual, but we all have passions. We all have things we would like to inspire others with. It kind of deals with the connotation that we're just jocks. We also care about our communities and care about making an impact on them in a positive way."
Carr has done extensive work with the Cowboys’ community outreach programs and his own foundation, The Carr Cares Foundation. Carr created the foundation to inspire young students to become better readers while also encouraging them to live healthy lifestyles through physical fitness and good nutrition.
Three of the NFL's 32 nominees will be selected as finalists. The NFL will announce the finalists in January, and the winner will be revealed at the fifth annual NFL Honors awards show the night before Super Bowl 50. Jason Witten (2012), Troy Aikman (1997) and Roger Staubach (1978) have won the award as members of the Cowboys.
“If I’m able to win this award, I’ll just reflect back on the lessons and principles my mom instilled in me, my dad as well,” Carr said. "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.
"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.”