Ask a member of the Cowboys’ 1990s dynasty about Darren Woodson, and they’ll tell you how valuable he was to the team’s then-unprecedented run of three Super Bowls in four seasons.
On Tuesday, Woodson and Wade Phillips – the team’s head coach from 2007-10 – became the most recent former Cowboys inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which recognizes great contributions to sports in the state.
“It’s a great honor. It’s a blessing,” Woodson said. “I’ve seen so many guys come through here, the Texas Hall of Fame, whether it be Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Larry Allen, and everyone always had positive things to say about coming to Waco and seeing the Texas Hall of Fame.
“Just to walk around and see the history of this state, people in this state should be proud of the great athletes and great coaches that have come through here.”
Other inductees in the 2017 Texas Sports Hall of Fame class are Rita Buck-Crockett, Dave Elmendorf, Pat Henry, Flo Hyman (deceased), Nastia Liukin and Eric Metcalf.
Many of Woodson’s former teammates are in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, including Aikman, Allen, Irvin, Dat Nguyen and Emmitt Smith. So are Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones and Woodson’s first NFL coach, Jimmy Johnson.
Phillips, who’ll be entering his first season as the Los Angeles Rams’ defensive coordinator, led the Cowboys to a pair of division titles (2007, 2009) and a playoff victory (2009).
Woodson made five Pro Bowls and received four first-team All-Pro honors during his 12-year playing career (1992-2003) with the Cowboys. A versatile safety, he was known for his big hits as well as his ability to move into the slot and cover receivers.
The Cowboys inducted Woodson, their all-time leading tackler, into their Ring of Honor during the 2015 season. In January he was named a Pro Football Hall of Fame modern-era semifinalist for a second time since becoming Hall-of-Fame eligible in 2009.
Could enshrinement in Canton be next at some point?
“I think at some point, that’s going to happen. I keep the faith,” Woodson said. “I know that I played the game at a high level.
“But to me it was always about winning those championships and the relationships that I’ve built over the years. And those relationships are everlasting.”
On Tuesday, he joined several of those old teammates in an exclusive Texas club. Read