Tonight in Dallas, the torch was passed. Dak Prescott is replacing Roger Staubach as honorary co-chairman of the Children’s Cancer Fund Gala and joins co-chair Troy Aikman to raise money for pediatric cancer research and care.
The gala benefits Children’s Medical Center and selected research at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Cowboys great Roger Staubach has served as honorary co-chair for over three decades.
Prescott called Staubach a Texas—and American—legend on and off the field. "He's everybody's hero," he added.
"When Troy gave me a call to fill in for Roger Staubach, I didn't care what he said next," said Prescott. "Count me in."
Aikman recalled when he first got involved with the fundraiser in the mid-1990s. "I remember walking out of that event, and I thought it was the best event I had ever been to in Dallas-Fort Worth. I just thought it was phenomenal." Aikman made the decision to stay involved and keep coming.
"It was a couple of years later when Roger reached out to me," said Aikman. "Shoot, he was roughly my age then, and said, 'Hey, we'd like you to be a co-chair with me.'"
"When Roger calls the answer is 'yes'—whatever the question is," said Aikman. And the two generations of Cowboys quarterbacks have been doing it ever since.
"I've seen Roger in a lot of different hats, and there is nobody who carries themselves better than him. He's the best there is."
When Staubach decided to step down, Aikman immediately thought Prescott would be the fitting replacement. "I hold him in the highest regard—the way he carries himself," Aikman said about Prescott. "He is going to be the quarterback here for a long, long time. He represents himself, the organization, the league and his family incredibly well."
Aikman waited until the season was over to call Prescott about the role. "I said, 'Hey, I received this same call about twenty-five years ago from Roger Staubach.'" He told Prescott that he was making the same call to him.
While Aikman would like this Cowboys quarterback tradition to continue, he does hope it will come to an end. "When you talk about how long I've been a part of this or how long Roger has been a part of this, my hope is that Dak isn't doing this very long—or me, either," said Aikman, expressing his desire for the discovery of a cure. "It's heartbreaking to see what so many of these kids go through."
But tonight, for many, was a respite. Prescott, the latest generation of Cowboys quarterbacks, met with patients, survivors, and their families. He talked, bumped fists, posed for photos, and signed autograph after autograph.
"Just following these guys' footsteps on the field is amazing enough," said Prescott, "but to be able to do it off the field is a privilege and there's nothing I take for granted about it."