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Why Darren Woodson Should Receive a Long-Overdue Hall of Fame Induction

No player drafted in the 1992 has made the . Former Cowboys should be the first.

Year after year, Woodson is nominated as a semifinalist or finalist for the , yet is snubbed every single time. It’s an unfortunate reality for one of the best safeties of his era, and it’s time Woodson gets the honor he deserves.

He was a key member of the Cowboys dynasty in the early 1990s. After being selected with the 37th pick in the 1992 NFL Draft, Woodson made the All-Rookie team. After that, it didn’t take him long to break out as one of the league’s best safeties.

After Dallas repeated as champions in 1993, Woodson earned three straight first-team All-Pro selections from 1994-96. He also was selected to the in 1994, the first of five consecutive selections until 1998. During his 1994 Pro Bowl season, Sports Illustrated called Woodson “the most productive player on the best in the NFL.”

In 1994 and 1996, Woodson recorded five interceptions and even led the Cowboys in tackles in 1995 with 95. After that 1995 season, he signed a new six-year contract, with then- saying this about Woodson.

“Darren is the total package,” Campo said. “He has a combination of size, speed and lateral movement that is rare in a . In fact, he covers one-on-one so well he could be a corner. He is the kind of guy coaches like to build a team around.”

Woodson would earn one more first-team All-Pro selection in 1998. He would start five more seasons for the Cowboys, proving to be a reliable piece in the each year. Woodson was even recognized for his off-the-field character, winning the Bart Starr Award in 2002.

Woodson retired in 2003 as Dallas’ all-time leader in tackles with 1,350, recording 23 career interceptions. He was inducted into the Cowboys in 2015, the latest player to receive the honor.

Woodson played the run just as well as the pass, and could also lay a big hit just as well as he covered a receiver. Woodson essentially doubled as the Cowboys’ slot for most of his career, covering receivers inside from the position. A common occurrence in today’s game, safeties doing this was infrequent back when Woodson played.

At his best, he was the most versatile safeties in the league. Woodson had a rare combination of elite speed (4.35-second 40-yard dash), brute strength and coverage abilities that made him a vital part of Dallas’ defense. Teams had to know where Woodson lined up on any given play, and it’s hard to imagine the Cowboys winning multiple Super Bowls without him.

He’s one of the best secondary players in franchise and a leader of the Dallas defense. Woodson was among the best players on some of the best teams in the 1990s, making his continued absence from the Hall of Fame egregious.

John Lynch is in the Hall of Fame. LeRoy Butler is in the Hall of Fame. Both are recent inductions that played when Woodson did and didn’t match the production Woodson produced in his career. This isn’t to say Lynch and Butler didn’t deserve an induction, but it’s hard to justify Woodson being left out when those two guys are in.

After decades of being snubbed from Canton, former Cowboys receiver finally was inducted in 2021. There’s now another former Cowboy whose wait has been far too long.

Darren Woodson is more than qualified to be inducted. It’s time to finally make it happen.

Nick Coppola
Nick Coppola
Student at the University of Oklahoma. Reporter for OU Daily. Junior Writer for Inside The Star. Contributor for Guns Up Nation.

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Sun Devil

I think the main reason he’s not in the HOF is his relatively low career INT total. But what the so-called experts don’t realize is that while his lesser-talented peers were playing centerfield in a zone on passing downs (with their eyes on the QB), Woodson was covering slot receivers man-to-man (with his back to the QB), a much more difficult assignment. You mention safeties do this more commonly today, and while that’s true, they’re usually sub-200 pound DBs, not 220. Woodson’s true value came in the fact that the Cowboys defense essentially didn’t have to take a LB off the field on passing downs since Woodson could play the run as well as any WLB and cover as well as any slot DB. I’d love to see Lynch or Butler try that…


Don’t have A problem with Woody being Inducted; However, Players like Harvey Martin,Too Tall Jones, Chuck Howley, Bill Bates and Moose Johnston should go in now; They have had Bigger Impacts on the Game and need to be in.

Roy C.

Nick you said it all there is nothing for me to add other than to simply oncur with your entire point well put Darren Woodson = HOF no doubt about it

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