Cowboys invade Delaware for charity poker tournament

By Sean Greene 2:03am, April 24, 2014
VIDEO: Erik Williams, Michael Irvin, and Nate Newton on charity and the rivalry (PHOTO: Michael Irvin makes a bet during the poker tournament)
Delaware Park looked a bit like Dallas Wednesday night as former All-Pro lineman Erik Williams hosted a celebrity poker tournament to benefit the Erik Williams Foundation.

Williams, who grew up in Philadelphia and has settled in Bear near his mother, started the Foundation to give back to those trying to build sports careers.

"First and foremost, youth are my passion. We wanted to raise money for the youth to participate in sports camps. It's about supplying scholarships to at-risk youth."

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While a casino 35 miles away from Lincoln Financial Field might seem like an odd place for someone associated with the arch-rival Cowboys to host a charity event, Williams brought along some familiar names including 3-time Super Bowl teammates Michael Irvin and Nate Newton.

Irvin says Williams was a bedrock on those title teams from the 90s.

"If you asked me to start a football team, and to take one player to start it with, I'd take Erik Williams. If offensive line is the most important sector of a game, there's nobody who got his team ready to go like Erik Williams. I didn't have to talk to all five (lineman), I just had to talk to one. I said 'come on big fella, what are you gonna do? Are you scared of Reggie White, or not?"

Eagles alums Hugh Douglass, Mike Quick, and Mark McMillian joined in the fun, but it was also clear that Newton was ready to rekindle the rivalry with Delawarean Eagles fans.

"Even when ya'll have had a successful year and better year than the Dallas Cowboys, for me to even show up is a great honor for this state, and for this whole situation. I'm not bragging or anything, but I've got three Super Bowls."

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Wednesday's poker celebrities will join other NFL stars including Troy Aikman and Michael Vick for a golf tournament at the White Clay Creek Country Club on Thursday.

Williams didn't have an estimate for the funds to be raised this week, but said the money would help sponsor programs that will kick off in June.

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