Cowboys legend Darren Woodson stays classy about Hall of Fame snub, but he should be in
Darren Woodson won’t act like Harry Carson and lash out against the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its voters. He won’t sound bitter like Terrell Owens after he was denied admittance to Canton.
Carson and Owens had their say, but were eventually elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The latter is bound to happen for Woodson, a former Dallas Cowboys safety and a key figure on three-time Super Bowl champion teams of the 1990s.
Woodson, who is admittedly hurt and disappointed that he was passed over again for admittance into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and not be a member of the Class of 2024, stayed professional and classy as always.
The 2024 Hall of Fame class includes Dwight Freeney, Devin Hester, Julius Peppers, Andre Johnson, Patrick Willis, Steve McMichael and Randy Gradishar.
“I’m happy for the guys that got in,” Woodson said from his home in Dallas after leaving Las Vegas, site of the Super Bowl and the announcement, before the new class was revealed on Thursday. “They’re much deserving of that.
I’m happy for the other dudes. It’s their dream too.” But don’t misconstrue his elegance. The retired power safety, who was the Cowboys’ leading tackler, is expressing his frustration and anger.
“You played the game because you were competitive. And it was just my nature to be competitive,” Woodson said. “I am a business owner.
And you can imagine the persistence it takes to run two businesses at the same time. That is my goal. I achieved everything else.
I think I’m in every hall of fame known to man: the Arizona Hall of Fame, the Texas Hall of Fame. “But the most important thing is always the gold jacket.
And this is what happened when I first started playing soccer, and it’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing. I’m disappointed.
The reality is, “I want to be recognized,” he said. And that needs to be recognized. Woodson overcame the pain to be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the second straight season.
He was a finalist last year when the Super Bowl was played in his home state of Arizona. He is disappointed, and now he is suffering for himself and his family.
“I’m more disappointed with my family,” Woodson said. “They have been with me for a long time. When that happens, it happens. Dear God, this will happen in the near future.”
Anyone who has seen Woodson play knows that this should have happened by now. Woodson played 12 seasons for the Cowboys. He is the team’s all-time leader in tackles with 1,350 and is a five-time Pro Bowler.
Woodson was a key player on three Super Bowl title teams. As much as the hallowed Hall of Fame trio of Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith are credited with the Cowboys’ Super Bowl success on offense, only Charles Haley represents a dynasty Hall of Fame team on defense.
And the unit has ranked in the top 10 in scoring and yards every season, including first place in 1992. The crime was that the defenses at the time were overlooked and obscured and that Woodson continued to violate these offenses.