Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have their next Roger Staubach. But he’s not a QB and is retired from NFL

Dak Prescott signs autographs for fans at Dallas Cowboys camp

Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott signs autographs for fans after practice Monday in Oxnard, Calif.
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Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott signs autographs for fans after practice Monday in Oxnard, Calif.

We’ve waited for the Cowboys’ next Roger Staubach forever and have finally found him.

Before you kill me for a misleading headline because it’s not Dak Prescott, or Troy Aikman, hang with me on this.

Roger’s template to be a successful quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys was nearly impossible to emulate, because not everyone is Roger Staubach.

Staubach’s template to enjoy a successful post-playing career after the Dallas Cowboys is far more attainable, but few have even tried to do it.

Ring of Honor member Darren Woodson is your next Roger.

“When I was playing with the Cowboys, Roger recruited me to join him,” Woodson said in a recent interview. “He said, ‘This is not back in the ‘70s when you work a job and then you go play.’”

Woodson has followed Roger’s path: He tried broadcasting, was good at it, and has left that venture to fly in real estate. In the last 30 years, Roger built one of the biggest real estate brands in Texas.

Few players in the history of the game transitioned to a post-NFL career better than Staubach, who always maintained ties to his team, and the game, which only helped his business and name.

Roger Staubach built the most impressive post-playing career any athlete ever could.

THE ROGER STAUBACH WAY

By the time Staubach retired in 1980, he had established his relationship and place with a local real estate developer. This was in the era when players needed another job, and could not retire at 34 for the rest of their life having made enough during their playing career.

Three years prior to his retirement, he was heavy into real estate and a company he started.

After he retired from the Dallas Cowboys, he tried broadcasting for CBS. Like seemingly everything he tried, he was good on air. He was not as good as former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith was on TV, but no one was.

Between Roger’s large family and real estate commitments, he focused on developing and growing his company.

And in doing so he always remained a voice, or statesmen, for the Dallas Cowboys. He was visible at games. He seldom turned down interview requests to talk about the current team, or the new quarterback.

He was never critical, but honest and optimistic.

He provided the foreword for my 2009 book about the history of Texas Stadium, free of charge; I had never met Staubach in person. My previous experience with him was over the phone, and I am 157 percent sure he did not know me.

He was simply being kind.

Staubach was generous, and in doing so he essentially advertised the Staubach name/brand to new generations of fans and people who may not have watched him play.

In 2008, Roger sold The Staubach companies for reportedly $640 million.

THE DARREN WOODSON WAY

Earlier this year, despite his natural on-camera talent, Woodson left ESPN after working there for more than a decade.

“I got burnt out getting on the flight and going up there (to Bristol, Conn.),” Woodson said. “And I really, to be honest, fell in love with doing what I am doing, which is real estate.”

Staubach sat down with Woodson many years ago and acted as a mentor in this transition. Roger simply advised him to enter the industry and “to run with it.”

“He said to me, ‘I am exiting out of and it would be great for you to do it,’” Woodson said. “One of the hardest things in this is that you have to shed who you are, and be a rookie all over again. The one thing I have seen with Roger is humility. You don’t find that in men as successful as he is. He’s a humble man and I fell in line with that and have taken it from him. I think that is the value I bring.”

Woodson is 50, and looks 30.

He has so many of the same qualities as Staubach that it’s hard to envision this transition flopping.

Like Staubach, Woodson is agreeable to interviews and to talk about the new team. He has not played since 2003, but he’s still relevant with football, and the Cowboys.

People want to talk to him.

He also recruits current Cowboys into his field for whenever they are done with ball.

“(Linebacker) Jaylon Smith and (defensive tackle) Tyrone Crawford have come across the hall to talk about what I do,” Woodson said. “Some guys think they are going to be buried in their uniform but that doesn’t happen; the game buries you, you don’t bury it.”

Woodson also serves on the board of the C5 Youth Foundation of Texas, a program for at-risk middle school kids through their senior years of high school.

“This has been a life-changer,” he said. “You take the inner city kid who doesn’t have an understanding of what a college campus looks like. I wanted to engage with that kid who felt they had the hopeless background. Kids from inner city of Dallas and Fort Worth from broken homes; kids who maybe are not eating before they go to school.

“I know I can provide a service to those kids and help them.”

Woodson was not the quarterback, but virtually everything he’s done looks and sounds a lot like the best QB in the history of the Dallas Cowboys.

BIG MAC BITES

Great to see Josh Hamilton join the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. His exit wasn’t great, nor was it as bad as people want to make it out to be with his benign, yet infamous, “baseball town” comment.

Josh was the best player on teams that reached the World Series. He should be in this team’s Hall of Fame.

No clue what the Rangers and GM Jon Daniels were thinking when they didn’t move any major player before the trade deadline.

They are already under .500, and in the final month of the regular season the Rangers are apt to be buried well beneath that lofty goal.

Starting on Sept. 2, with the exception of a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles, the Rangers will play the Yankees, Rays, A’s, Astros, Red Sox and Yankees. Every one of those teams has a winning record, and all of them will be in the playoffs and or are a legit contender to be in them.

After spending a week in Oxnard, Calif. with the Dallas Cowboys, one observation: The secondary, especially corner Jourdan Lewis, looks good.

But if your secondary looks good in training camp, that means another position does not.

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