Dak Prescott: Plans in Motion to Work with Hayden Hurst on Suicide Prevention

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIISeptember 24, 2020

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs for a touchdown against Atlanta Falcons cornerback Isaiah Oliver (26) and Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee (27) an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)
Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

Atlanta Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott plan to team up during the next offseason to work on suicide prevention programs, according to ESPN's Todd Archer

Following the Cowboys' 40-39 victory over the Falcons in Week 2, Hurst was captured running over to Prescott to praise the QB for speaking about mental health following the suicide of Prescott's brother Jace in April. 

Hurst, who runs the Hayden Hurst Foundation with a focus on the mental health of children and adolescents, told Prescott he has "a lot of respect for what you did" after the Cowboys star spoke out about mental illness and his own anxiety and depression following the death of Jace. 

"Obviously excited after a big win like that but for him to just come over there, us embrace that moment," Prescott said of Hurst approaching him. "He was telling me about what him and his mom are doing with their foundation. I'm excited to work with him. We've talked since. Excited in the offseason for us to get something going. Our teams have already started making steps to do that while we're in the midst of the season."

Prescott said it's the second time in as many weeks that opposing players have walked across the field to thank him for speaking out. Members of the Los Angeles Rams reached out following their game against the Cowboys in Week 1. 

The quarterback currently has his own foundation, Faith Fight Finish, focused on cancer awareness and "[investing] in the future of youths fighting through adversity." Prescott will use that to partner with Hurst on action items next offseason. 

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In speaking about his chat with Hurst, Prescott was quick to point out the work the Falcons star has already committed himself to:

"I mean, obviously that's something that's near and dear to his heart. That means a lot to him. So a couple of players did it last week. So I think it just depends on that player, what it means to them, what they've been through personally. And I'm proud of Hayden for where he's come from, the things that he's been through, thankful obviously for that moment as well."

Hurst has had depression and suicidal thoughts. In 2016, the former MLB prospect tried to kill himself when he was discovered by a friend who was able to bring help.

The tight end has since tried to remain as open as possible about his own struggles in hopes of helping others cope and progress. 

“I try to put it out there because I want people to see it,” Hurst said. “I know it’s pretty intimate stuff talking about my attempted suicide with people that I don’t even know. But I see it as if I can put my story out there and some kid can see it and save one life, that’s the point.”

If you or someone you know is in immediate crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for 24/7 access to a trained counselor. You can also contact the Crisis Text Line by texting "HOME" to 741741. For more information about ongoing support and mental health resources, contact the HelpLine at the National Alliance on Mental Illness by calling 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or emailing info@nami.org.