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Darren Woodson helped the Dallas Cowboys win three Super Bowls. The defensive back earned All-Pro honors three times and Pro Bowl selection on five occasions. On February 29th, he’ll take home another award. This one comes from the C5 Youth Foundation of Texas. The C5 Texas Medallion Award honors character qualities of leadership, a devotion to education, and a commitment to community. Woodson has developed a passion for C5 because it shepherds young people from at-risk environments through eighth grade and high school to help them develop into young leaders and adults who will become fixtures in their communities. He sees a lot of his own upbringing in the transformation those young people make.

Awards to Dallas Cowboys have been much in the news lately. Several former athletes with deep ties to the franchise had a chance to go into this year’s Hall of Fame class, including three as part of a special Centennial Slate of inductees interned to commemorate the NFL’s hundredth year. Jimmy Johnson and Cliff Harris made it. Drew Pearson did not.

Woodson has a special appreciation for Johnson, and he shared his thoughts on his former coach in the video interview that accompanies this blog post. He also saw fellow safety Cliff Harris as deserving. Both Harris and Woodson laid some serious hits on opposing ballcarriers. The biggest Cowboys controversy, however, came when former star wide receiver Drew Pearson didn’t get in. Woodson shares his thoughts on that subject, too (spoiler: he thinks Pearson’s election should have been a no-brainer).

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Woodson himself did not make the finals of the modern-era voting. Should he be in? He thinks so, but he’s patient, as the overlong waiting times for Harris and Pearson supply him with unwelcome perspective on the process.

If you attend the C5 Urban Campfire event (info is at C5Texas.org), you’ll have a chance to meet Woodson and see him get his award. It’s a casual event featuring food and music with plenty of time for conversation, and he told me he’d be happy to talk with you about who should be in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for Cowboys fans, when it comes to Drew Pearson and Darren Woodson, that topic will continue to be relevant for at least another year. In the meantime, Woodson focuses on the things he can control, like attending a community event for a worthy charity.

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