One six-second clip from Sunday’s broadcast of the Dallas Cowboys’ win over the Baltimore Ravens perfectly captured rookie Dak Prescott’s integrity.
The 23-year-old was shown on the bench, the Cowboys up 10 points with under two minutes to go in Prescott’s first game after being officially named the team’s starter.
When he finished taking a drink from a paper cup, he tossed the cup toward the trash can behind his left shoulder. In a rare inaccurate toss from Prescott, the cup fell short of its intended destination.
To that point, this is both an unremarkable story from a game full of highlights, and where the story would end for most NFL players.
But Prescott, who has been nothing but polished on the field during his first 10 games, didn’t want to leave a mess. So he picked up the cup and put it in the trash. Don't see a GIF below?
In the time I’ve spent on the sideline of NFL and college football games, I’ve seen enough to know a stray paper cup on the ground is not going to disrupt much of anything.
And, again, it’s a small anecdote from the latest in a nine-game win streak that has seen many on-the-field accomplishments for Prescott and his team… But the fact that he would think to pick up his trash is a testament to some of the intangibles that make him so successful: His class and his principles.
Struggling to see why it's a big deal? One woman's comment on WFAA's Facebook page shows why. Prescott is a role model, and with the starting job belonging to him for the foreseeable future, he will continue to be. And Brandi Hatfield-Pohl's son noticed the gesture from Prescott during the game.