Watch CBS News

Passion For Dallas Cowboys Shines Through North Texan Living With Degenerative Brain Disease

by Keith Russell | CBS 11

WAXAHACHIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - No one believes the Cowboys are knocking on the door of greatness more than Ja'Marcus Byrd.

His father, Troy Jones, says "football is his life. You say Dallas Cowboys….he lights up."

His mother, Renee Jones says "outsiders look in and he's had this big change in his life...and for us and for him....he hasn't skipped a beat."

As a kid, Ja'Marcus was once regarded as the best youth baseball player in Ellis County.

When he was 14, he was diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease.

Now 26, he's no longer able to walk and his speech is limited.

Ja'Marcus Byrd and family
Troy and Renee Jones and Ja'Marcus Byrd (Keith Russell - CBS 11)

But one thing that will never be taken away, is his passion for America's team. When if he wanted a Zeke Elliott jersey, Ja'Marcus responded "If they win."

When asked if he wanted the jersey if the Cowboys lose, his answer was "nope."

Ja'Marcus also has Jason Witten's jersey.

As part of a Make-A-Wish a few years ago, he got to meet the living legend in person.

Ja'Marcus also has his lucky cap. He just needs the game turned on, at his long-term care facility in Waxahachie, and he'll be in business.

His mother admits "people ask us all the time....with all that you go're always smiling". Her response is "how can you not?….because of his positive outlook on everything."

The only thing Ja'Marcus will not express positivity about is the first team up on the Cowboys schedule, Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay.

Ja'Marcus insists that "Tom Brady is just too old."

What will never get old, is the lesson we all can learn from Ja'Marcus Byrd.

His mother, Renee, promises "God doesn't cause bad things to happen. But he can certainly turn a bad thing and make it good. And I remind him that's what God has done in his life…..he's taken a really bad thing and made it good for himself and a whole lot of people. He's impacting more people than most of all will do in a lifetime."

And that's what makes him the ultimate Cowboys fan.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.