•An NFL analyst who appears on NFL Live, SportsCenter, and other ESPN platforms throughout the year
•As an entrepreneur in tech, e-commerce and real estate, Darren brings lessons of the gridiron and the corner office to audiences with his signature high energy and knowledge to create a culture of excellence in your team and your business
A native of Phoenix, Woodson played football at Maryvale High School as a running back and linebacker. He attended Arizona State University, where he was a converted linebacker for the Sun Devils and earned his Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies.
In the 1992 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys selected Woodson in the second-round (37th overall). Throughout his 12 seasons (1992-2004) with the Cowboys, he earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitters and most ferocious safeties in the NFL.
Woodson retired in 2004 as the Cowboys’ All-Time Leading Tackler with 1,350 career stops and registering career totals of 11 sacks and 23 interceptions. Throughout his NFL career, his dependability, athleticism and aggressiveness helped lead the Cowboys to three Super Bowl Championships (Super Bowl XXVII, XXVIII and XXX) - securing him an elite position in the club’s history. In 2015, Woodson was inducted into the prestigious Cowboys “Ring of Honor.” He was also named to the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame (2009) and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame (2017).
Upon retiring from the NFL, Woodson joined ESPN as an NFL analyst in 2005. He appeared on “NFL Live” and “SportsCenter” and also participated on the network’s coverage of the Super Bowl, NFL Draft and NFL training camp specials. After 14 years with the network and commuting weekly to Bristol, Connecticut, Woodson announced his retirement in 2019.
Transitioning from the NFL to a post-playing career is not easy for most athletes —but Woodson has found consistent success. In 2017, Woodson joined ESRP Advisory Dallas, LLC, “esrp”, and bridged his storied football career and entrepreneurial spirit with commercial real estate.
Located at the Dallas Cowboys’ World Headquarters - The Star, esrp is a tenant and buyer focused on commercial real estate company assisting clients in over 40 countries. As a Partner at esrp, he is directly involved with the firm’s overall vision, growth, and strategy. Woodson focuses on locating, developing, and defining business relationships across a variety of industries and markets. He brings his innate leadership skills and passion for creating winning strategies to meet clients’ real estate needs, while delivering a high-level of service. Clients include NTT DATA, Argo Data, ExamSoft and MTX Group.
Beyond his remarkable talents and dedicated leadership, Woodson has made significant contributions to his community and is an active board member at C5 Youth Foundation of Texas. C5 Youth Foundation helps high potential youth with limited resources become successful and responsible leaders in their communities. Since its inception, over 600 Texas youth have experienced C5 Texas’ life-changing program and leadership experiences.
Darren is married to Tiffany and has four beautiful children.
- Leadership and Mentoring
- Competing to Be the Best: Lessons from the Game’s Most Ferocious Tackler
- Creating Cultures of Excellence
What are the cultural differences between mediocre teams and winning teams, whether they are in sports or business? In this speech, Darren Woodson (5 time Pro Bowl safety and 3 time NFL Super Bowl Champion with the Dallas Cowboys) describes what leaders must embrace in order to build a culture of excellence with their teams. Learn how to embrace change, competition, and confrontation within your organization.
Cultures of excellence embrace: (hard) change; (honest) confrontation; (healthy) competition and… individuals with (heartfelt) character