Texans veteran wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been named a finalist for the annual Art Rooney sportsmanship award, the NFL announced.
The award recognizes an NFL player who demonstrates qualities of sportsmanship, respect for the game, fair play and integrity in competition.
The other finalists are Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Miami Dolphins safety Jason McCourty, New England Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen.
A former New Orleans Saints first-round draft pick from Oregon State, Cooks has caught 563 passes for 7,825 yards and 45 touchdowns.
He has 80 receptions this season for 945 yards and five touchdowns.
"He’s a guy that our players trust, and not only just because of the kind of player he is, but the kind of person he is.” Texans coach David Culley said.
"He’s an outstanding competitor, outstanding player," Texans defensive coordinator Lovie Smith said. "You want a veteran player to show the young players how to be a pro. He’s a receiver that can do it all. Seen a lot of good ones and I knew a lot about him before I got here and to see him every day, I know exactly what he can do and that’s what he’s done every game.”
A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected the eight finalists from the 32 NFL club nominees. The panel is comprised of Warrick Dunn, Larry Fitzgerald, Curtis Martin and Leonard Wheeler. The eight finalists were listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category.
"I've had the honor of competing with many of the nominees on the list,” Fitzgerald said. “More importantly, I've had the blessing of knowing and building relationships with several of them off the field. The legacy of Mr. Rooney lives on through these men. They represent teamwork, competitiveness, hard work, optimism, and integrity. Congratulations to each of the nominees for this year's Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award."