Safety Xavier Woods went on FS1's Undisputed Tuesday morning to explain the Cowboys 2019 season to Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless and discuss the team's immediate future. The first topic Woods was pressed on was former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who Woods referred to a "scapegoat."
Woods clarified that the players, specifically the defense, should shoulder the blame for the inconsistencies in their play. "It's on us," Woods said repeatedly. "It's on the players." Both Sharpe and Bayless pressed him on the team's inability to generate turnovers down the stretch of the season. In eight losses last season the Cowboys turnover margin was negative seven (the offense turned the ball over 11 times in that span, while the defense forced just four turnovers).
Woods took personal accountability. "Me, personally, I dropped four [potential interceptions]," he said. He also said that, as they tried to force the issue with turnovers, defensive players were making inexcusable mistakes. "We missed tackles. That Chicago game was terrible. You can't blame that on Coach. That's on the players."
Woods admitted that he had a personal connection with Garrett and said that the same is true for the majority of the roster. "You won't find a handful of players in that locker room who didn't like him as a person. I love him. He believed in me. I'm loyal to that guy."
Still, Woods said that he sees the value in "new energy" for a football team and says that new head coach Mike McCarthy is going to immediately command respect from the team simply by his winning record and championship. "New energy breeds something different," Woods said. "He's won before."
While Woods was unwilling to blame coaching for last season's struggles, he stated that they had all the talent they needed to contend for a championship last season despite never being able to "put it together." He said that McCarthy and incoming defensive coordinator Mike Nolan had yet to inform the players of what changes could be coming to the defensive scheme, but he was more than willing to give a bold prediction to the national television audience.
"We'll be in the Super Bowl," Woods said. "I don't know where it is [next year], but we'll be there."