Cowboys NT Antwaun Woods used arrest as motivation vs. Rams – The Dallas Morning News

Posted: December 23, 2019 at 10:42 am

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Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (99) and middle linebacker Jaylon Smith (54) celebrate a stop during the first half of an NFL matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Ryan Michalesko/The Dallas Morning News)

FRISCO Antwaun Woods channeled the angst he felt off the field into his Sunday performance, he said Wednesday.

It wasnt his first time doing so.

Im a kid from the ghetto, Woods said. Football has been the outlet my whole life. Ive got almost two degrees from football. So, yeah.

Woods, a Los Angeles native who attended USC, arguably had the best game of his season this weekend. After a two-game absence to an MCL sprain during which he was arrested and charged with marijuana possession and evidence tampering, he returned to anchor the Cowboys run defense, helping key a 44-21 win against the Los Angeles Rams.

Woods said his arrest absolutely was part of his motivation Sunday.

I just wanted to get all the negativity out of the way and just put something positive on my life, he said.

A couple of missteps for the Cowboys starting nose tackle have made headlines this season.

In the first, he and rookie defensive tackle Trysten Hill were sent home for tardiness to an Oct. 29 meeting. Woods took accountability for the mistake while visibly frustrated the error went public. He felt the incident was not representative of who he is, saying it was the first time in his NFL career he was late for a meeting. He vowed it wouldnt happen again.

On Dec. 3, Woods was pulled over in Frisco for speeding and not signaling a lane change, according to a police report. A little more than 2 ounces of marijuana were found in his vehicle, and Woods admitted to an officer that he stashed a marijuana cigarette inside a half-full water bottle inside the vehicles center console, police said.

Woods approached Sundays game as some measure of redemption.

On the games first carry, Woods stuffed running backs Todd Gurley for a 3-yard loss. He strung together disruptive reps against Rams left guard Austin Corbett, finishing the game with three solo tackles and two assists on 23 defensive snaps. Dallas contained the Rams to 22 rushing yards.

Thats everything in our defense, especially when youre playing a team like the Rams, safety Jeff Heath said. Their offense kind of gets going based off of how theyre able to run the ball. If theyre able to run the ball like you saw last year in the playoff game, then it opens up their whole offense. If you take that away from them, then it makes it really tough on them. Antwaun coming back was big. Thats what he does. He just wreaks havoc in the middle. That was big for us.

Said Woods: Our coaches put together a really good game plan. They put a lot of stress on the nose tackle me and we executed it at a high level.

Briefly: LB Leighton Vander Esch will miss a fifth straight game Sunday against the Eagles. While his neck has responded well to rest, it has not improved to the level required for him to resume football activities at this juncture. Hes not assured to return this season.

LT Tyron Smiths right eye didnt open Wednesday morning for non-football reasons, coach Jason Garrett said. Smith did not practice.

Cowboys cornerback C.J. Goodwin had a matter-of-fact view Wednesday on the thumb he fractured Sunday. I deserved it, he said. Goodwin swiped after a Rams returners legs rather than attempt a shoulder tackle. He underwent surgery Monday and is expected to wear a cast while playing Sunday in special-teams coverage.

Defensive lineman Michael Bennett (foot/illness), linebacker Sean Lee (thigh/pectoral) and linebacker Joe Thomas (knee) also missed practice.

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Cowboys NT Antwaun Woods used arrest as motivation vs. Rams - The Dallas Morning News

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:42 am

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