After an impressive first NFL season that garnered him Rookie of the Year and Pro Bowl accolades, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is keeping busy this offseason with a new cancer-fighting campaign. Ready. Raise. Rise. kicked off on June 28, with a goal of raising $150,000 by July 31. Prescott spoke with Sports Illustrated about the campaign, football and everything in-between.
SI: You’re promoting Ready. Raise. Rise. What can you tell me about the campaign?
Prescott: Ready. Raise. Rise. Is a huge campaign trying to bring awareness to Immuno-Oncology research and the fact that this cause is so near and dear to so many Americans, and they can relate. Specifically because I lost my mom as a sophomore in College at 20 years old, it is important for me to use my platform with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eric Stonestreet to try and make a difference and bring awareness.
SI: What do you think your mom would say if she could see you using your platform in this way?
Prescott: I think she would be proud. I definitely try to honor my mom in any way I can, on and off the football field. I don’t think there is a better way that I could do it than helping with this Ready. Raise. Rise. campaign.
SI: What is one piece of advice your mom gave you growing up that has stuck with you?
Prescott: There is a bunch so it is hard for me to narrow it down to one, but I think for the most part she taught me the value of hard work and how to be selfless. She always taught me to put others first.
SI: After last season what expectations do you have for yourself going forward?
Prescott: Just to win games. It is important to me to just stay focused and worry about that, not get off track. I know what it takes to win games in the NFL. I have great coaches and teammates to help me do that. The most important thing is staying true to myself and my teammates.
SI: What do you think of [Cowboys’ 2017 first-round pick] Taco Charlton so far?
Prescott: It is hard to judge defensive linemen in OTAs and minicamps because they are obviously not in pads so they can’t be as physical as they want to be, but I’ve seen great speed and raw talent. He has a lot of it.
SI: What did you think of Ezekiel Elliot’s ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue cover?
Prescott: I think Zeke should use his platform to do things like I’m doing with Bristol-Myers Squibb for Ready. Raise. Rise. instead of doing his thing for the body issue and doing photo shoots.
SI: Would you ever pose for something like that?
Prescott: I think it would have to be in order to promote something, but I’m not really sure. I would have to get that offer first and talk it over.
SI: Favorite song right now?
Prescott: My favorite song ever is Drops of Jupiter by Train. It’s one of the songs I listen to before games. It’s chill, but it’s also upbeat at the same time.
SI: Do you have any favorite quotes or words to live by?
Prescott: Control the things I can control and allow the rest to take care of itself. That honestly goes right back to this campaign. We can control the money we raise. We can’t always predict who has Cancer, but we can team up to raise money and educate the world.
SI: When did you first know you wanted to be a football player?
Prescott: For as long as I can remember I always wanted to learn the game. It has always given me peace in life no matter what is going on. My brothers, who are five and six years older than me, I grew up going to their games and I always wanted to be like them.
SI: If you weren’t playing in the NFL what would you be doing?
Prescott: I might be coaching because I would still want to be around the game, but I do have my undergrad in Psychology and I want to be a psychologist, so maybe that. But football has always been there. It has given me a great platform to affect lives.
SI: How many tattoos do you have?
Prescott: I honestly don’t know, that’s a great question. There are other things I want to get too, but I’m not in any rush.
SI: What is the non-football moment in your life you are most proud of?
Prescott: Probably graduating college and getting my masters degree as well. Just knowing I’ve got that education. It has taught me so much going forward.