A three-time Super Bowl champion and five-time Pro Bowl selection, Darren Woodson is often recognized as one of the greatest players to wear a Dallas Cowboys uniform.
A native of Phoenix, Woodson played football at Marvale High School as a running back and linebacker. He attended Arizona State University, where he was a converted linebacker for the Sun Devils and earned his Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies.
In the 1992 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Woodson in the second-round (37th overall). Throughout his 12 seasons (1992-2004) with the Cowboys, he earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitters and most ferocious safeties in the NFL.
Woodson retired in 2004 as the Cowboys’ All-Time Leading Tackler with 1,350 career stops and registering career totals of 11 sacks and 23 interceptions. Throughout his NFL career, his dependability, athleticism and aggressiveness helped lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Championships (Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII and XXX) – securing him an elite position in the club’s history. In 2015, Woodson was inducted into the prestigious Cowboys “Ring of Honor.” He was also named to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame (2009) and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (2017).
Upon retiring from the NFL, Woodson joined ESPN as an NFL analyst in 2005. He appeared on “NFL Live” and “SportsCenter” and also participated on the network’s coverage of the Super Bowl, NFL Draft and NFL training camp specials. After 14 years with the network and commuting weekly to Bristol, Connecticut, Woodson announced his retirement in 2019.
Transitioning from the NFL to a post-playing career is not easy for most athletes —but Woodson has found consistent success. In 2017, Woodson joined esrp and bridged his storied football career and entrepreneurial spirit with commercial real estate.
Located at the Dallas Cowboys’ World Headquarters – The Star, esrp is a tenant and buyer focused commercial real estate company assisting clients in over 40 countries. As a Partner at esrp, he is directly involved with the firm’s overall vision, growth, and strategy. Woodson focuses on locating, developing, and defining business relationships across a variety of industries and markets. He brings his innate leadership skills and passion for creating winning strategies to meet clients’ real estate needs, while delivering a high-level of service. Clients include NTT DATA, Argo Data and MoneyGram.
Beyond his remarkable talents and dedicated leadership, Woodson has made significant contributions to his community and is actively involved with organizations like: Make-A-Wish Foundation, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, C5 Foundation, My Possibilities, Interfaith Housing Coalition, Children’s Cancer Fund of Dallas, Happy Hill Farm Academy, Send a Kid to Camp, Salvation Army, Athletes in Action, DART Safety Team, and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
Darren is married to Tiffany and has four beautiful children.
Career history, highlights and awards
- Dallas Cowboys (1992–2003)
- 3× Super Bowl champion (XXVII, XXVIII, XXX)
- 5× Pro Bowl (1994–1998)
- 3× First-team All-Pro (1994–1996)
- Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor
- Arizona State University Hall of Fame
- Arizona Sports Hall of Fame
- Texas Sports Hall of Fame
Darren really hit home the message of cultural differences between mediocre teams and winning teams. He truly left the room compelled to do more, give more, be more. Thank you, Darren, for an excellent keynote last night. The standing ovation was extremely deserved!
-Lindsey S., Marketing Manager, Marketing Communications, BIOTRONIK, Inc.
Darren, thank you for adding tremendous value to the BIOTRONIK 2019 kick-off meetings. Your message was clear and on point for our organization and very well received. The energy, passion and confidence you brought to the stage resonated with the team and served as a nice platform to launch our year. Congratulations on your continued success and thanks again for sharing your message with us.
-Ryan W., President, BIOTRONIK, Inc.
Darren was terrific. In fact, I just received a phone call from a senior executive telling me that Darren was one of the best speakers he had ever heard. He brought energy, empathy, humor and insight to all, even those without a love of the game (or the Cowboys!). He engaged in a friendly banter with our leader, agreed to throw footballs into the audience, recognized one of our employees for her work with Diversity & Inclusion, and stayed after making sure he got to every last person waiting for a photo, autograph and wanting to tell their story. He even did a video for someone who requested it!
-Alison H., SAP Digital Business Services
We had a wonderful event. I had many comments that Darren’s speech was right on the mark, and they are already asking when he can come back 🙂 Thank you!
-Candace E., Hilltop Securities Inc.
For 13 years, Woodson was everything you could ask for — unselfish, reliable, dependable, a team player first and a team leader always. He’s a living, breathing example of the saying that character does matter.
-Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner
He was an awesome speaker with a great message.
-Peg W., Manager of Events, Software Company