Darren Woodson says Cowboys are “garbage at tackling”


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.

9 responses to “Darren Woodson says Cowboys are “garbage at tackling”

  1. I’ve been saying that same thing for years. We dont strike fear into anyone. We grab and hold rather then bringing the heat. Darren was a beast at bringing tha pain. What he should do is try to teach these guys how to tackle instead of trashing them.

  2. Well to be fair, it dosent help when its guys like Brandon Jacobs who your trying to tackle.

    And lets be honest, poor tackling is league wide and will not be getting better anytime soon with less contact in ota’s and practices.

    Its an offensive and big play league, just the way the NFL likes it to be.

  3. Oddly enough, Deion Sanders is probably most to blame for the demise of tackling. Today’s players grew up watching him and it’s natural that they molded their game after what they saw. Problem is, few have the cover skills to make up for a lack of physical play.

  4. If you watch Roy Williams play from his first couple of years, he was a legit pro bowl player, then he got known for making big hits and his game regressed, he started looking for the big hit all the time and stopped wrapping up, so he missed tackles, and he started getting caught up watching the guys running the shorter routes because he wanted to blow them up, ignoring the guys running past him for long bombs.

  5. Most teams are bad at tackling!!!

    What else makes the Cowboys a team that will likely miss the postseason??

  6. I so hate the trend towards trying for the big hit rather than solid tackling with wrapping the player up that, regardless of which team I’m rooting for, I cheer for the player who bounces off the pathetic grandstanding attempt to ‘jack him up’ and runs for another 20 yards.

    These guys are well paid, and should be eager to be coached and actually do their jobs. Not just to try to make the highlight reels.

    And with the emphasis on concussions, even more reason for a player to think this one through, and go for the classic tackle.

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