Off-topic conversation: Darren Woodson
better guy in the locker room they’ve got some guys that can than Dak Prescott. I think that’s legitimately rush the passer on the number one thing as far as the outside. I think up front controlling who he is and what they are going to be formidable. he brings to the locker room. … The question marks on this He’s a leader, and people will defense will be the young corfollow because of that. His work ners on the outside. Chidobe ethic is tremendous. I remember Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, and after the season ended, three Anthony Brown are going to weeks after he had dropped 10 have to show up this year. They pounds. He had already started are going to have to play against working out. So, you know what some really good receivers in you have in Dak Prescott. He is this league this year. Their secfully committed to being the ondary is going to have to match Dallas Cowboys quarterback, up. I think there is a reason why and he is committed to wanting they are looking for a guy like to be one of the best if not the Earl Thomas to come in and best quarterback in football. play that back end; they need That’s his commitment. On the some veteran experience and a field, his strengths are the crossveteran playmaker that can take ing route, underneath routes; the safety position.
Sitting on any ESPN set preare going to be plugged into being able to break down the Should the Cowboys make paring for his role as one of the these starting roles. With Jason defense with his legs. He’s got to that deal and give up whatevnetwork’s NFL analysts, Darren Witten moving on, now you get better at throwing the deep er they need to get Thomas? Woodson is always looking have Blake Jarwin, Dalton ball, and he’s got to do a better I think it’s twofold. It’s hard forward to highlights of New Schultz, who is a rookie, you job at throwing the back shoulon the business side. I’m a busiEngland Patriots. have a number of tight ends der fades on the outside. But ness owner, so I totally un
Woodson, the former Dallas who will be battling for that when you talk about the middle derstand where the Cowboys Cowboys safety, has seen spot. And you know they are of the numbers, those type of are in this. They know Seattle enough of Tom Brady. Bill Belgoing to be hungry to prove that throws he’s very good at that. doesn’t want Earl Thomas, and ichick isn’t the primary focus, can play at this level. And in the And you can run multiple ofThomas doesn’t want Seattle. either. But Woodson likes secondary, the one thing I look fenses with him. You can run They know that’s a volatile watching receiver Julian Edelat is you have a lot of young some of the zone read concepts situation. Why give up a second man as much as possible. guys. I remember those days with him, a lot of the boots; get or third round pick right now
“He’s mentally tough,” Woodwhen we had young guys come him out on the edges. He’s not a and then play a year with him son said. “If you watch him play in, and even myself when I guy that’s going to get down. and have to redo his deal, which week in, and week out, he’s the came in as a rookie, you want to You see a lot of good quarteris going to be a top-notch safety same dude over and over again. eat. You want to prove that you backs. The great ones, they deal which is a lot of money.
He’s going to catch balls. You belong, and you’ll do whatever it overcome. And that’s the one Who’s to say he doesn’t come can’t cover him one-on-one in takes to show that pride in thing he has — the ability to back the next year because he’s the slot. He’s going to talk trash yourself. … I like the competiovercome mistakes that he’s going to be looking to get paid. all day, and he knows he has the tion they are going to have at made earlier in the game and So, there is a whole lot of risk in best quarterback in the game. multiple positions because I make a play. that; giving up a second round
“He reminds me a lot of Steve think it makes them that much I look at this team without pick for one year. That’s the risk Smith when he was on the top better of a football team. Now, Dez and Jason. They have you take, and I don’t think the of his game,” Woodson continare they going to miss Jason some good possession receivCowboys — and I know with ued. “Just vicious.” Witten’s leadership? Absolutely. ers in Allen Hurns, Terrance Stephen Jones more involved,
It’s been more than 10 years in They are going to miss what he Williams, and Cole Beasley. he’s not looking at the pie in the the TV business, and Woodson brings. His work ethic. His But if I’m a defensive coordisky deal like Jerry has always will be the first to admit he professionalism. How he goes nator, I would just load up done and forever the optimist. never envisioned his time as an about preparing for the game. the box to stop Ezekiel Elliott He’s a guy looking at the future NFL analyst lasting as long as it He’s a great role model to look at and make Dak beat me with of this football team and how has, especially not with the top how to handle yourself on and his arm. Is there a danger in he’s going to build on this team. sports network in the world. off the field. But I don’t know if that game plan? So, that’s a huge risk for them to But Woodson is havingtake.funtheyaregoingtomisshimasListen,Ithinkyou’reright.I while on camera and apprecimuch on the field because he think you would hear that with With all that said, and I ates still being involved in the became an option route guy. any team playing against the know it’s extremely early, but sport he loves. That’s what he gave you. He Cowboys. You know the right now where do you think
“It keeps me around the didn’t give you a whole lot of strength of the Dallas Cowboys they fall in the win-loss degame,” he said. “The game has stretching the field; middle of is that offensive line and the partment? changed so much. It’s not the the field. I know they are going running game. So what do you There are so many unknowns same game that it was back to miss him in some ways. Dez do? You load the box up, and with this team, and I think the when I was playing. It’s more of is another guy. When we talk you force Dak to beat you with division has gotten better. We a wide-open three-on-three about Dez, in the past they dealt his arm. I think the positive that know what Philadelphia brings basketball game. That’s what it with a lot with Dez off the field you have in that is now you’re to the table. The Eagles are head feels like. But it allows me to see as far as not getting to meetings able to have smaller receivers and shoulders the class of the some of the new wrinkles that on time, not getting treatment. like the Cole Beasley in the slot, division. If you’re a Cowboys are out there. So, it’s fun watchYou have to deal with the probTavon Austin if you’re going to fan, you have to be concerned ing the young guys come in to lems with Dez in the locker put him out there, Deonte about with the Giants are startcompete at the highest level.” room, the ups, and downs. But Thompson and Terrance Wiling to do. They have a ton of
In this week’s Off Topic, his production was so good liams, they’re going to have talent and a ton of weapons Woodson discusses his thoughts early on that you covered those some one-on-one opportunities offensively, and I think that’s a on the upcoming season for the warps because he was so good on the outside. nightmare for the Cowboys. Cowboys, how that team is on the field. But when the proLet’s look at the defensive And then the Redskins are the different, what impresses him duction dropped, and you still side of the ball. What are the unknown. A lot of people are about quarterback Dak Prescott, had the problems of being late strengths and weaknesses of projecting the Redskins to be a and provides an early prediction and not doing the right thing in this unit? better football team than they on where the team could finish. the locker room, you can’t blame Sean Lee is the strength in were last year because of the
What is your initial take the Cowboys for saying, “We’re the middle of that defense. He talent they acquired. But If I about the Cowboys entering done; let’s move on.” and Demarcus Lawrence are was a betting man right now, I the season? No Dez Bryant. Dak’s going into Year 3, head and shoulders above the hate to say 8-8 because that’s the No Jason Witten. It’s almost what are some more of his best players on that defense usual, but I would say at best like a brand new team. strengths that will benefit right now.I think they’ve got a 10-6 fighting with the Giants to
I’m optimistic in a sense that this team? lot of depth with Demarcus be second place in the division. we have a lot of young guys that Great leader. You won’t find a Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford; It’s a wild card team.