FRISCO -“We,'' says Michelle Staubach Grimes, "are fighting the same fight.”
Dak Prescott's mother died of colon cancer in 2013. During her battle, Dak’s older brother, Jace, was her main caregiver. Quietly, that burden apparently gnawed at Jace, and he lost his life to suicide just days before last April’s NFL Draft. That loss, combined with COVID’s quarantines, eventually took its toll on Prescott, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback and team leader.
“I started experiencing emotions I’ve never felt before,” Prescott said in September. “Anxiety, for the main one. And then, honestly, a couple of days before my brother passed, I would say I started experiencing depression.''
The Staubach family understands.
Roger Staubach, the legendary Dallas QB, already has a relationship with Prescott, of course. But as Roger's 52-year-old daughter Michelle is going public with her mental-health struggles, she tells CowboysSI.com that she is seeking to reach out to Dak.
Michelle battles depression, as a young girl showed signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and in 2017 underwent Electroconvulsive therapy. She's now an advocate for others with mental-health issues, as is Prescott.
“I just want to help others,” she says. “In doing so, I’ll continue to help myself.”
Adds Roger, “I love my daughter and I’m so proud of her for doing what she’s doing. This thing is much more prevalent than we knew. After hearing her story, we’ve had friends come to us and tell us that they’ve had some of the same issues with their children. By speaking out she’s changing lives, and I’ll do everything I can to support her.”
Prescott, who is recovering from ankle surgery while also preparing to enter contract negotiations with the Cowboys, has a full plate as he plans to be engaged on the subject of mental-health challenges.
“For sure, I realized (I was depressed),” he said. “When you have thoughts that you’ve never had, I think that’s – more so than anything – a chance to realize it and recognize it, to be vulnerable about it. Talked to my family. Talked to the people around me. Some of them obviously had dealt with it before. I was able to have those conversations and then reach out further just to more people. I think being open about it and not holding those feelings in was one of the better things for me.”
And, as with the Staubachs, better for countless people who might benefit from hearing, sharing and reaching out.