Cowboys Starter Stunningly Admits Lacking Effort: ‘Not Possible to Go Full Speed’

Cowboys vs. Browns

Getty Cowboys vs. Browns

You can’t have effort expectations if such expectations are unrealistic, posits Xavier Woods.

In a mystifying admission following last Sunday’s eye-opening loss to Cleveland, the Dallas Cowboys‘ starting safety copped to “a lack” of effort and argued it’s “not possible” to go “full speed” every snap, every game.

“Our effort’s been good. I mean on certain plays some guys, I mean me included, there may be a lack but overall the effort is there,” Woods said Wednesday on 105.3 The Fan. “I mean you don’t expect, we’re in the NFL, you don’t expect guys (to go) full speed for 70 plays. That’s not possible. We’re going to push as hard as we can. You don’t expect a backside corner to make a play on the opposite side. (If) he’s running full speed the whole time it’s just not possible to be honest.”

It’s astonishing that Woods would use the NFL — arguably the most dog-eat-dog of the four major professional sports — as his basis for justification. Even more so that he came thisclose to flaunting the fact he knowingly slacks off, a football cardinal sin.

There’s tone-deaf, and there’s Woods’ contradictory assessment of a performance in which he was complicit in allowing 307 rushing yards and brutalized by a barrage of trick plays, as a member of a unit surrendering 36.5 points per game.

“Not hard [to watch the film] when you want to be better. Take that medicine like a man, like a professional. We know we messed up, we come in, take that medicine and you get better from it,” he said, via the Dallas Morning News.

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Woods’ aloof disposition is in sharp contrast to DeMarcus Lawrence’s not-so-humble opinion that Dallas’ defense has grown “soft,” lacking grit and toughness. Lawrence was calling out the scheme rather than his teammates, but the collectively catastrophic blunders genuinely bothered him.

Embattled defensive coordinator Mike Nolan bluntly disputed Lawrence’s claim while head coach Mike McCarthy went out of his way to establish “we don’t have an effort issue.”

“You’ve got to be really careful when you start challenging professional athletes about effort, especially from a distance,” McCarthy said earlier this week, via “We don’t have an effort issue. If we had an effort issue, that game would have been over in the middle of the third quarter [when trailing 41-14]. Our guys fought all the way to the end. And they made a huge play there down the stretch with the reverse for the touchdown.”

At the same time, Woods’ likeminded counterparts are supporting, if not encouraging, his wide-reaching rhetoric.

“X understands that we need to get our standard right. We’ve got to be better and we will be better,” linebacker Jaylon Smith said Thursday, via ESPN’s Ed Werder.

All’s well in Arlington.


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