You’d be hard-pressed to find a Dallas Cowboys draft pick that was more universally celebrated in the moment that it happened than Xavier Woods two years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, there have been guys that people have pounded the proverbial table for, but when Dallas traded up to land Xavier in the sixth round of all places in 2017, people were quite stoked.
Unfortunately for Woods, any hope of him emerging as the starting free safety for the Cowboys in his second season was cast aside by fans everywhere at the mere thought of Earl Thomas. Thanks to Thomas injecting himself into the conversation when he did, Woods was fighting against a legend. It was an un-winnable battle for him.
Woods is a quiet guy, a silent assassin if you will. Coincidentally (maybe not so much) the mothership dropped an interview with him on the day that Thomas chose the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. Woods has heard the Earl chants, and he’s ready to silence them, too.
"You can't take away the confidence from us."@its_hollyWOODS sits down with @LindsCashDraper & discusses the young team's confidence heading into the season, how he has handled the noise about the safety position & coach Kris Richard’s goals for him. pic.twitter.com/2UmUcRay9R— Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) March 14, 2019
It surely has been difficult for Xavier to be someone Cowboys fans fall in love with when there was another darling for so many to pine over. Lindsay Cash Draper asked Woods for his thoughts on the matter and his response was interesting.
Xavier: It doesn’t really affect me. Just more of what comes from inside this building. Because I was told some things and then seen other things, I just feel like that was disrespectful to me. But all in all I just use it as motivation. I feel like this year’s going to be a big year for me. I’m working hard, I’m dedicated, the guys in the locker room that’s been here over the last couple of weeks, a month and a half that I’ve been working out here, my focus has just been on a different level.
2019 will be year three for the man out of Louisiana Tech and his second full go under Kris Richard. It stands to reason that he will take another leap, and if he does people will praise Dallas for sticking with him as opposed to spending big on someone significantly older.