DALLAS — Jason Witten shows up at the Salvation Army every year to serve an early Thanksgiving lunch. On Tuesday, he brought his buddy with him.
Quarterback Tony Romo was one of the 12 Cowboys veterans who worked the food line and brought plates out to the clients at the Salvation Army’s Collins Social Services Center in Dallas. It’s part of the kickoff to the team’s annual Thanksgiving holiday drive for the charity.
In Fort Worth, another group of players and cheerleaders served a Thanksgiving lunch to Salvation Army residents there.
Romo doesn’t make a lot of public appearances, so it was a treat for the lunchtime crowd and the hosts. The Salvation Army staffer who introduced him — a Cowboys fan since she was 10 years old despite growing up in Washington, D.C. — couldn’t resist calling him over and saying, to cheers, "This is the first time I’ve met Tony Romo. I’m standing by Tony Romo!"
Witten got a grin out of it.
"He does a good job of seeing those fans, and obviously, they have words of encouragement or, sometimes, advice — for all of us, and especially the quarterback," Witten said, drawing a laugh.
Parenthood, said Witten, has affected Romo’s outlook.
"Being a father himself and a family guy, it does provide a perspective," he said. "It’s unbelievable how good his motives are. He just wants to spend time with them and stay away from all the other stuff. That’s what it’s all about, to come here and get the impact, more than anything else."
Romo stayed in the kitchen for the most part, but he took charge there, too. He put Miles Austin on dressing, put himself on rolls.
"He was on the rolls, but you know what? It was a little hot back there," Witten said. "He did provide some entertainment for the staff. Those are stories those people will be able to tell for a long time, getting to work with Tony in the back. He didn’t quite have it mastered like they did."
Other players who participated included DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, DeMarco Murray, Phillip Tanner, Kyle Orton, Robert Calloway, Derrick Dockery, Eric Frampton, Orlando Scandrick and Brandon Carr.
Murray, who has missed four games with a sprained foot, said it lifted his spirits to do his part.
"Getting away from everything that deals with football, enjoying life, giving back, being around people who really don’t see football, it was nice to come out here and give," he said.
Sherby Nixon shows rookie Cowboys linebacker Kyle Wilber, left, and running back Lance Dunbar how to prepare a thanksgiving lunch plate.
Related: Dallas Cowboys get, give good vibes at annual Salvation Army meal
DALLAS – The Cowboys have a couple of Thanksgiving traditions: Playing football on Turkey Day and serving meals to the less fortunate earlier in the month.
Tuesday was the day for the latter tradition.
The Cowboys manned two Salvation Army locations, with the rookies serving meals in Fort Worth and a group of veterans serving meals in Dallas.
“Every time you do it, you’re in the middle of the season and the grind and coming here provides a little perspective,” said Jason Witten, who has been part of the event in each of his 10 seasons. “You’re on somewhat of a platform. You have to say, hey, I’m going to give back to some of the people that look up to you. That’s what being a role model is all about, providing perspective and hopefully encourage them in some way.”
It’s not just about serving meals. The Cowboys sign autographs and interact with people who generally need some good vibes.
“It’s good just to come out here and just give back,” running back DeMarco Murray said. “You always have a soft place in your heart for them. Growing up, you always tried to pray for them and do the right things by them, no matter if it’s bringing them over for a meal, just saying hi or talking to them. Doing anything you can possibly do to make them feel better is what counts.”
Added outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware: “You’ve got to count your blessings. Being a role model for the Dallas Cowboys and having some positivity come into the Salvation Army always feels good.”
Jerry Jones has always had one philosophy about publicity: good publicity, bad publicity _ just spell my name right.
So in keeping with that the philosophy of any kind of attention is better than no attention at all, the Cowboys have turned what started as a silly internet insult that went viral into a money making venture.
The only difference is they are donating all the money for charity.
The product is Jerry Wipes, born out of the national media seemingly making fun of Jones’ son-in-law Shy Anderson for cleaning his glasses during the 24-17 season kickoff victory against the Giants last Wednesday.
Anderson was initially labeled Jones’ butler until he was properly identified. Instead of feeling laughed at, Anderson, Jones and the Cowboys are hoping to laugh all the way to bank in hopes of earning money for the Salvation Army.
They are selling cleaning wipes for glasses on www.shopcowboys.com for $2.99.
IRVING, Texas — In the spirit of the holiday season, the Dallas Cowboys’ Rookie Club on Wednesday loaded a Salvation Army truck with the hundreds of Angel Tree gifts purchased by Dallas Cowboys players, coaches, executives and other staff.
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program has brought joy to thousands of needy children, seniors, and disabled adults during the holiday season.
The program is designed to meet the needs of those who otherwise would not have a Christmas.
To learn more about The Salvation Army Angel Tree program, click HERE
RELATED: THE ARMY AND THE STAR
For the past 14 seasons, the Jones family has dedicated the Cowboys annual Thanksgiving Day halftime show as a national showcase to kickoff The Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Drive. The team’s association with network television has spawned a donation of $20 million worth of airtime to present nationally televised entertainment extravaganzas that have created a new holiday tradition.
DALLAS — No Cowboy has had a quicker rise to prominence this year than DeMarco Murray.
The rookie running back received the loudest ovation after Pro Bowlers Jason Witten and DeMarcus Ware as the players handed out early Thanksgiving Day meals at The Salvation Army’s Carr P. Collins Social Services Center in Dallas on Tuesday.
That’s what rushing for 601 yards in the last four games will do for a runner.
“I’m just happy to be here and see all the people are happy,” Murray said. “There’s nothing like giving back.”
Murray, Ware and Witten were part of a dozen players to attend Tuesday’s function. They were joined by Jesse Holley, Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, Robert Callaway, Orlando Scandrick, Derrick Dockery, Phillip Tanner, Mat McBriar, Felix Jones and Jason Hatcher. Gene Jones and Charlotte Anderson, as well as a number of players’ wives and girlfriends, including Jason Garrett’s wife, Brill, were also in attendance.
Players and wives dished out meals to roughly 200 men and women for more than an hour as part of the team’s early holiday tradition.
“This is a special thing to come out to, putting smiles on these peoples’ faces,” Hatcher said. “I’m just a small fish in a big pond when it comes to DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten but the effect I have on these lives puts joy in my heart. I’m glad I’m out here. I should’ve been doing it five years ago … I won’t miss another year. As long as I’m part of the Cowboys I will be here. This is a special day.”
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For more information, or to support the Salvation Army’s efforts … click HERE