Darren Woodson was known as an excellent tackler in his days with the Cowboys, but he thinks the current version is “garbage at tackling.”
Woodson was quoted in an extensive piece on the demise of tackling by Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel saying the Packers were a “terrible” tackling team, and now he’s turned his attention to his old club.
Woodson said the Cowboys “they won’t hit a soul,” according to Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.
Woodson’s chief complaint of this generation is that they’re too concerned with “trying to make that big play” that the basics have escaped them.
“The guy made the catch but the yards [after catch] weren’t there,” Woodson said. “Myself, Deion [Sanders], Brock Marion, even Larry Brown. … There was a sense of embarrassment. Now, there’s no embarrassment. Nobody’s embarrassed if they miss a tackle.”
Invoking Sanders in a diatribe about tackling is probably a mistake, as the Hall of Famer was so brilliant in coverage it made up for the fact he was barely adequate at the physical portion of the job. But Woodson’s larger point stands.
Dunne’s piece, which is well worth the read, draws a line from former Cowboys safety Roy Williams penchant for hitting rather than tackling as one of the problems with today’s players.
“I’m not going to say I’m Picasso or Michelangelo, but I mastered the art of separating people from the ball,” Williams said. “It’s all about geometry and your angles and knowing that when somebody catches the ball, you can hit them a certain way and get the ball out.”
If he’d have been able to get the guy down without trying to blow people up, Williams might have adapted to the rules that saw him donate thousands of dollars to league charities in fines.