OXNARD, Calif. – The list went on and on. Darren Woodson couldn't thank enough people Tuesday at his Ring of Honor selection press conference.
"I know I'm forgetting people," he said more than once.
The list included the Jones family; the public relations and community relations staff; the equipment team; the athletic training and medical staff; the strength and conditioning staff; and former teammates and coaches.
He showed the same selflessness during his retirement press conference after the 2004 season he sat out following back surgery.
All are part of the Cowboys "family" that helped him develop into an invaluable piece of three Super Bowl teams in the 1990s and eventually the franchise's all-time leading tackler.
"When you win a championship, you're forever intertwined with each other, forever," Woodson said. "Our lives are always going to be there. And it's the same thing with the Jones family. We climbed that mountain three times. And hope we climb that damn thing again this year. We're going to be intertwined forever because we're a fraternity."
Head coach Jason Garrett is part of that fraternity as Woodson's teammate from 1993-99. Much of Woodson's message is evident in Garrett's constant words about team and sacrifice.[embeddedad0]
Now as a coach, he wants his players to grow and accomplish special things together.
"That's why we spring out of bed in the morning and try to build the kind of football team that we all can be proud of because those relationships, those bonds are so strong," Garrett said. "I reminisce all the time about going against Woody and going against Leon Lett and some of those guys because I was the scout team quarterback going against this unit every day and I was fortunate to be around those guys for eight years. I can't think of a bigger challenge than going against No. 28.
"The relationships that we have with those guys are lifelong relationships and they're strong, the bonds are strong and I think it's because how hard everybody worked, shared a commitment and the success that we had."