Jason Witten has never been comfortable drawing attention to his community service.

That doesn't mean it shouldn't be acknowledged.

One of the NFL's most prestigious individual honors, the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, has gone to the Cowboys tight end. The announcement that Witten was selected over Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and Cleveland's Joe Thomas came Saturday evening. He will be honored on the field before Super Bowl XLVII by Jarrett and Brittney Payton, the children of the late Chicago running back for who the award is named.

"You make it a part of your life,'' Witten said of the commitment to help those less fortunate. "I never said I do it for any of this. You do it to make a small impact in people's lives.

"To be honest, this is a little bit uncomfortable. You never want to be recognized. The best part is the pureness and giving back. For me, that's what it's always been about. If it's important to you, you will.

"I hope that legacy is just as much a part of my life as what kind of football player I am.''

The award caps a season in which Witten became the all-time leading receiver in Cowboys history and set an NFL record for receptions in a season (110) by a tight end.

But this award isn't about Witten's excellence on the field. It's about his contribution off it.