Fri, Dec 31, 2004 - Page 22 News List

Cowboys' Darren Woodson retires after 13 seasons


Darren Woodson, the last active player from the Dallas Cowboys' Super Bowl successes of the 1990s, announced his retirement on Wednesday after 13 seasons with the National Football League team.

"Every time I put that helmet on [I knew] that I was representing not only my family, not only my friends but I was representing the best," the five-time Pro Bowl safety said. "I was representing the best organization in the world."

Woodson, 35, has missed this entire season with a back injury. But in a career that began in 1992, he amassed 1,350 tackles, including 787 solo and 11 sacks, to go with 23 interceptions.

"He is a very young man with a young family that has a great foundation to go from here and really do some great things," Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said.

"We hope that many of those things can be done in and a part and around the Dallas Cowboys organization."

Woodson, who has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list all season after undergoing back surgery in July, still has two years remaining on his contract.

After being the 37th player chosen in the 1992 draft, Woodson recorded 33 tackles in his rookie season for the Cowboys, who went on to win their first Super Bowl since 1978.

Woodson was an integral part of the secondary as Dallas established a dynasty with additional Super Bowl victories in the 1993 and 1995 seasons. He made a career-high 155 tackles, including 89 solo, in 1993 and recovered a fumble in the Super Bowl 28 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Jan. 30, 1994.

In 1995, he led Dallas with 144 tackles and became the first Cow-boy defensive back since Everson Walls in 1982-83 to earn All Pro honors in back-to-back years. He added 23 tackles in the postseason, including 11 in the Cowboys' 27-17 Super Bowl 30 triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Jan. 28, 1996.

Woodson intercepted 12 passes, including two which he returned for touchdowns, over a three-year span beginning in 1994.

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