” the 46-year old Woodson said, echoing a question between sips from a cardboard cup. The player owner Jerry Jones refers to as the model Cowboy, on and off the field, appears momentarily lost in thought.“Where I grew up, there weren’t a lot of people who got out,” Woodson finally said. My gang-banging friends, those suckers I thought were my friends, turned their backs on me. “Only Darren Ray Woodson stayed with me in prison,” Tucker said.She put in 30 years at the Maricopa County courthouse, where she shifted from clerical position to position. Sometimes when they rounded up neighborhood boys in “zero tolerance” sweeps, they recognized Ms. Somehow he always managed to slip home to his mother. He thought it would keep his friend off the streets for at least a little while.
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Always when his teammates on the three Super Bowl championship teams of the 1990s scattered to enjoy the end of their only off day of the week, Woodson remained tethered to his home telephone, hovering over the increasingly obsolete landline like an expectant father anticipating news. Woodson clung to the landline long after he retired as the Cowboys’ all-time leading tackler in 2003.
Like Sunday’s, the Tuesday regiment was tightly wrapped in rules. It was the passé umbilical cord that pumped life into an odd couple relationship between the unassailable professional sports hero and his career gangster friend.
It was not for the company of the ride but for a lesson in life.
“I became scared to death of incarceration,” Woodson said.
Five minutes in, Woodson introduced Tucker, who remains his best friend, into the conversation.