ARLINGTON, Texas – Usually when the Dallas Cowboys bang out hits, there’s pain involved. On Wednesday, the hits the Cowboys delivered were all for a good cause.
Eight Cowboys players and head coach Jason Garrett took part in the Reliant Home Run Derby at Globe Life Park, normally occupied by the Texas Rangers, and raised $50,000 for Salvation Army Youth.
Safety Barry Church was crowned this year’s Home Run King by besting tight end Jason Witten in the finals.
"For a year long I’m the Home Run Derby champion," said an elated Church. "To win it over Witten, I go against him [in practice] every day, so to beat him in the championship round made it that much sweeter."
It also made things sweeter for Salvation Army Youth. The players and Garrett got 10 swings in each round of the competition and money was awarded based on the distance each hit traveled.
Church won the competition by generating $8,400 in donations, followed by Witten with $8,300. Running back DeMarco Murray just missed making it out of the semifinals with $4,300 raised.
Together, the players and Garrett raised enough for Reliant to round out the total donation to $50,000.
Former Ranger German Duran served up pitches from behind a batting practice screen while Brad Sham served as the master of ceremonies/play-by-play man.
There were a total of 33 "home runs" hit over the temporary fencing set up in the outfield. No one hit an actual home run into the stands this year, although former players John Phillips and Jason Hatcher have reached the seats in previous years.
"It’s fun to be a part of this event," Garrett said. "This is our third year out here and we’re hitting baseballs and raising money. It’s a good thing."
Garrett, Murray and Witten even got in a little infield practice after the home run competition was over.
Church was done after his final swings, but said he could be coaxed back into action if the Texas Rangers needed a designated hitter.
"I’ll be right there," Church said, smiling. "Tell’em to give me a call."