The Pro Football Writers of America awarded the second-ever Terez A. Paylor Award to USA Today’s Jori Epstein.

The award, established in the wake of Paylor’s death in 2020 at age 37, went to The Athletic’s Jordan Rodrigue in its inaugural year. Epstein is certainly a deserving recipient as well, having joined USA Today in 2018 and providing excellent coverage of the Dallas Cowboys, having previously worked at the Dallas Morning News.

From the PFWA release:

Jori Epstein, the Dallas Cowboys/NFL reporter for USA Today, has been selected as the 2022 Terez A. Paylor Emerging Writer Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).

Epstein, the second Paylor Award winner, has covered the NFL and the Cowboys for USA Today since 2018. Epstein was also a finalist for last year’s inaugural award.

The Paylor Award recognizes a rising star in pro football writing who exemplifies the qualities of Paylor, the former Yahoo! Sports and Kansas City Star football writer, who passed away in February 2021 at the age of 37. Paylor joined the Star after graduating from Howard University in 2006 and took over the Kansas City Chiefs beat in 2013. He would spend the next seven-plus years covering the NFL and joined Yahoo! Sports in 2018 as a senior writer to cover the league on a national level.

Epstein, a graduate of the University of Texas, started her career at the Dallas Morning News and she also worked for Sports Illustrated and the Philadelphia Daily News. Considered a diligent and dedicated reporter, she has quickly established herself as a go-to source for news on one of the NFL’s most competitive beats. Her book “The Upstander”, a non-fiction account about Holocaust survivor and activist Max Glauben, was published in 2021.

Other finalists for the award this year included

The other finalists for the 2022 award Michael-Shawn Dugar  and Tashan Reed of The Athletic, and Emmanuel Morgan of the New York Times. Congratulations to Esptein and all those considered, and as always, RIP Terez.

[PFWA/image credit: Dallas Morning News]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.