Dak Prescott’s Emphasis on Mental Health Awareness Is Caring For Others As Well As For Themselves – The Undefeated

FRISCO, Texas – The producer leaned forward in the chair, aware of Dak Prescott’s busy schedule and the 90 minutes he had allotted to the project.

“What are you doing hard?” ” she asked. “I know we have a time limit.

“When we’re done,” said the Dallas Cowboys quarterback calmly.

You see, time didn’t matter to Prescott, as he was emotionally invested in the project, the story of Bryce Gowdy’s tragic death.

Gowdy, a four-star catcher from Deerfield Beach, Fla., Had verbally committed to playing at Georgia Tech.

He committed suicide on December 30, 2019.

He is believed to have been disheartened that he left his mother and two siblings – they were homeless and commuted between motels and slept in their cars – when he went to college.

Prescott tells Long Live Seven: The Story of Bryce “Simba” Gowdy, a short film that will be available on November 29 exclusively through The Undefeated on ESPN +, and he wanted to deliver a completely professional performance. The film focuses on mental health and the underrated topic of suicide among young black men.

Prescott often asked the producer if he read the lines of the script with the right tone and inflection of voice. When offered suggestions on when to emphasize certain words, Prescott followed through with his coaching.

He even memorized a short paragraph because he thought it would be more effective if he looked into the camera and said the words instead of reading them.

After a few takes he was successful. It was the least he could do for Gowdy.

“Bryce, his story resonated with me not only because I lost my brother to suicide, but also because I just understand what it’s like to be a highly recruited athlete,” Prescott said. “When I heard the story, I just wanted to help.

“It touched me deeply because I felt like if I could just talk to Bryce and maybe give him some wisdom or just explain different situations in life to him, I could have done it. ‘to help. I could have helped save his life and his family.

“And I was incredibly moved by his mother and her continuing her legacy by setting up a Bryce Gowdy Foundation and making sure he saves millions of lives through his story.”

This is also Prescott’s mission these days.

He understands the power and influence that comes from being the quarterback in the sport’s most valuable franchise.

The Cowboys are worth $ 6.5 billion, according to Forbes, and Prescott signed a four-year contract worth $ 160 million before the start of this season.

He also earns millions as a spokesperson for several companies, ranging from Beats by Dre to Sleep Number beds.

However, he never forgot to whom we give a lot, it will take a lot.

“He knows he is more than a football player,” said his brother, Tad Prescott. “For Dak, finding this platform so early and understanding that he’s taller than a soccer player is important.

“I know my brother understands that this game is not forever and that he has a goal afterwards.”

When Jace Prescott committed suicide in April 2020, his death shook Prescott and left him wondering if he should have been a better brother. It left him searching for answers he will never find, and it left him overwhelmed and depressed.

“We talk every day. We’re trying to talk to register – again that mental thing, ”Prescott’s father Nathaniel said. “I am over 60 years old, I was raised so that you do not show your emotions.

“You must be a strong black man. I tried to make sure I cut that down with them. It’s good to cry. You need to cry.

Prescott understands how people can lose their battle with mental health because they can’t or won’t ask for help – and it doesn’t matter how much money you make.

“What I want people to take away from my story is above all the importance of being vulnerable, the importance of asking for help and understanding that it is good not to be well. It’s human, ”Prescott said.

“And it doesn’t matter if you’re the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, or if you’re a star high school student about to enter a DI college, or if you’re a mom, brother, or cousin. ‘Either way, whatever your job and your situation, those thoughts are real.

“These thoughts happen to everyone. And it’s just important to get that help, seek professional help, and tell your friends and family what you’re going through.

Prescott and his brothers lost their business opportunity when their mother, Peggy, died of cancer in 2013. It took them almost a decade to figure out how to deal with their problems without her advice.

“He is someone who is becoming more and more vulnerable – not just to the public and the media, but to those around him,” said Tad Prescott. “He made sure to talk to our friends about their vulnerability.

People with mental health issues can find help in a number of ways. For some, it is therapy – one-on-one or in a group – while others prefer to talk to friends or relatives.

Prescott has been in therapy before. He works regularly with a life coach.

Prescott’s occasional anxiety isn’t unique.

That’s why he worked with Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Solomon Thomas, Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst, and NBA Kevin Love to design programs to help youth with disabilities. Mental Health.

Prominent NFL players Lane Johnson of the Philadelphia Eagles and AJ Brown of the Tennessee Titans have each publicly discussed their battle with depression this season.

“The stigma has been around for so long that football players – mainly men – are not allowed to express our feelings and we are meant to be great men or manly men, and if something bothers us, we’re supposed to. keep it, ”Tad Prescott said. “When you have guys like Dak, guys like AJ Brown and guys who are football players that kids and other men admire and are vulnerable and talk about their feelings, that’s huge.

“It lets that ordinary man setting there look at a guy he idolizes [to] talk about how he is feeling and it lets him know that it is okay to tell someone you are close to that something is wrong.

Prescott has the life most people would dream of, but his life comes with anxiety and pressure, just like everyone else.

Sometimes he lacks self-confidence. That’s right. One of the best quarterbacks in the NFL is sometimes lacking in confidence.

“It’s part of being human when things aren’t going the way you want them to, sometimes your self-confidence wants to go up and down and you just have to remember who you are and how you need to be where you are.” , said Prescott. “And I think it’s important, like I said, to find that right mental space for you.”

It’s a message he wished he could pass on to Bryce.

Jean-Jacques Taylor, originally from Dallas, is an award-winning journalist who has covered the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL for 25 years and is President of JJT Media Group.

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