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December 29, 2004

Darren Woodson announces his retirement at a press conference at Valley Ranch today (Dec. 29, 2004). For 12 seasons, Darren Woodson has roamed the Dallas Cowboys secondary. Keeping things intact, keeping players on their toes, and keeping wide receivers on the edge.

Darren Woodson was one of the draft picks the Cowboys got from the Herschel Walker trade so many moons ago. Woodson came to the Cowboys in the 2nd round of the 1992 NFL draft from Arizona State and has been a staple on the Cowboys defense ever since. He is the last remaining member of the 1992 Super Bowl Championship team and boy are we gonna miss him.

During his 12 seasons for the Cowboys, Darren has gone to 5 Pro Bowls, won 3 Super Bowl rings, and is finishing his career as the Cowboys all time leading tackler with 1,350 tackles.

"This is a special day in the history of our franchise where we have the opportunity to celebrate the career of a guy that made a tremendous difference in what this franchise is all about," Jerry Jones said. "For 13 years, he was everything you could ask for, from the perspective of the organization - unselfish, reliable, dependable. A team player, first, and a teammate always."

Several former teammates of Woodson's made the trip to Valley Ranch to show their appreciation of Darren. Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith, and Charles Haley were all there.

Even Bill Parcells took time during the beginning of his press conference to mention Darren Woodson; "He's certainly earned my respect," Bill Parcells said. "He had it before I came here from watching him play, but now that I've gotten to know him I think he's one of those people that you really think a lot of. He's the kind of guy that makes this profession something that you like to engage in. He's the epitome of a professional. He does epitomize that in every sense. What he did in playing and his approach to the game. I just have a high regard for him personally as well. These are some of the kids you don't worry about when their career is over, because he's gonna do well."

For me it was simple, I loved Darren Woodson just like I love all Cowboy players. I put all Cowboys on a pedestal until they fall off and some have, but not Darren. He sparkled on the pedestal and in fact rose even higher in my eyes. He is the epitome of what I would want all Cowboy players to be, hard workers, good sportsman, and role models for my kids.

Darren Woodson

"When I put that helmet on, I laid it on the line," Woodson. "Not just for this team, but for everyone here. I laid it on the line every time I put that helmet on. I wanted to win so bad, that nothing else really mattered. The most important thing was giving everything I had each time I stepped out on the field. And I think I did that. And when you can say that, it's not as hard to walk away."