Sony Pictures, the Oak Cliff Boys & Girls Club, and Cowboys WR Dwayne Harris teamed up on Friday to throw an “Amazing Spider-Man 2″ themed Earth Day celebration in Dallas.
The event focused on encouraging citizens to do their part in the community. Volunteers and children planted flowers and picked up trash in front of the Boys & Girls Club, and Dwayne Harris was right in the middle of everything, doing his part.
The kids were enamored with the Cowboys wideout. At any given moment Harris had at least 3 kids surrounding him, asking for pictures and autographs. There must have been over 3 or 4 dozen children running around with his signature and the number “17” written on their shirts, posters and even their faces. Dwayne even gave one kid a shirt from the trunk of his car just because the young man liked it.
One boy named Damontre took a particular liking to Harris. Attached to his hip all day, Damontre told me that when he grows up he’d like to play for the Cowboys “just like Dwayne”. Harris was a hit. But as much as the kids enjoyed his company, it was obvious that Dwayne was having a blast as well.
Harris, who helped plant flowers and bushes, also spent time tossing around the football and coloring with the kids. At one point, Dwayne jokingly challenged several young boys to a foot race so he could win their fancy sneakers (Harris loves shoes. He told me that he probably owns over 100 pairs).
After a long day of volunteering and playing with dozens of young fans, Harris took a break to do a quick interview with me. Keep reading to find out what he had to say about the departure of Miles Austin, earning his QB’s trust, and who the best (and worst) dressed players on the team are..
JORDAN ROSS: How did you learn about today’s event and what made you want to get involved?
DWAYNE HARRIS: My PR people told me about it since they know I like doing stuff with kids. After learning about it, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to come out here and hang out with these kids.
JORDAN ROSS: You got a little banged up towards the end of last year, how are you feeling now? Are you able to fully participate in the offseason workouts?
DWAYNE HARRIS: I’m feeling pretty good. I had surgery earlier in the offseason and am just trying to get fully healthy now. I should be 100% by the time training camp gets here.
JORDAN ROSS: With Miles no longer on the team, how excited are you about the possibility of having a bigger role on offense next season?
DWAYNE HARRIS: I’m always excited about any opportunity to get more snaps on offense. My #1 job is to be a receiver and everything else is secondary. It’ll definitely be great if I’m able to get some more snaps.
JORDAN ROSS: Speaking of Miles, he was the longest tenured wide receiver on the team. What kind of things did you learn from him when you came into the NFL?
DWAYNE HARRIS: He showed me how to be a professional. He’s a gamer and goes about everything the right way. I’m going to miss him. He really taught me a lot.
JORDAN ROSS: I don’t know if you know this, but now you’re the oldest wide receiver on the team. Do you feel ready to possibly take on more of a veteran leadership role?
DWAYNE HARRIS: (laughs) Yeah, I know I’m the oldest. But, you know, most of the guys have already played a lot. We’ve got Dez, who does his thing. Terrance isn’t a rookie anymore. Beasley has been playing for two years now. So we don’t really have any “young” guys on the team right now. I think we can all be leaders and help each other.
JORDAN ROSS: Two of your three career receiving touchdowns have come in crucial moments in close games (Saints in 2012, Vikings in 2013). How much does it mean to you knowing that Tony has that kind of faith in you?
DWAYNE HARRIS: That chemistry just comes from the way we practice. We do a lot of game situations in practice, so when we get in the game it comes naturally to us. For Tony to have that much confidence in me means a lot. We’ve got guys like Dez and Witten on the field who always make big plays, so it means a lot to me to have his trust.
JORDAN ROSS: A lot of people consider you the best dressed guy on the team. Who would you say comes in 2nd place?
DWAYNE HARRIS: I don’t know if I’m the best dressed, but I’m probably the coolest person on the team. As far as 2nd best dressed though.. Dez would probably be in the top 5. Maybe Orlando Scandrick, but I think I’m going to go with Brandon Carr.
JORDAN ROSS: Now what about the opposite end of the spectrum.. Who do you think is the worst dressed player on the team?
DWAYNE HARRIS: (laughs) I would say Doug Free. He just looks like he needs a little help.
JORDAN ROSS: Last question.. What is the best part about being a Dallas Cowboy?
DWAYNE HARRIS: The best part is the fans. The fans love us, and that means a lot to me. They make me proud to wear that star on my head.
I’ve always been a big fan of Dwayne. He was the very first Cowboy I ever interviewed. Last summer when I was first starting up my #HBTC Facebook page, I went out on a limb and asked Harris via Twitter if he’d be willing to answer a few questions. Surprisingly he said yes, which meant the world to me, being a young Cowboys fan who was brand new in the world of sports writing. However, after seeing the type of person Harris is, I’m no longer surprised by his acts of kindness. He genuinely enjoys helping others, specifically his fans.
Harris has become one of the most dangerous return men in the NFL, and always seems to make the most of his opportunities on offense. With the pass-happy Linehan now on board, we may finally get to see Harris reach his full potential (something that he has a lot of). Either way, I can’t wait to see Harris back in action, regardless of how many times he touches the ball. The fact that he’s as awesome off the field as he is on it, just makes me root for him even harder.
Scroll down to see pictures from today’s event..