FRISCO - Minnesota Vikings safety Xavier Woods didn't exactly and entirely choose his new team; his old team, the Dallas Cowboys, sort of chose for him.
But in the end, Woods says, even before NFL free agency, the Vikings are a team he always had his eye on.
“Just as much as I was preparing for Minnesota’s offense, I was watching Harrison,” Woods said, looking back to the late-season Cowboys-at-Vikings game. “That was one of the main reasons why I wanted to be here, to be able to learn from him, be able to play (with him). And not only Harrison, but (Patrick Peterson).”
There is validity there. Harrison Smith is a Pro Bowl safety. Patrick Peterson, also new to Minnesota after jumping from Arizona, is a future Hall-of-Fame candidate.
And now Woods, by virtue of his one-year deal, will join them in the Minny secondary.
“The Vikings wanted me,” Woods said, “I talked to (head coach Mike Zimmer) and he told me that I had an opportunity to come and play. That’s all I can ask for.”
But an undeniable part of the story is that ... the Cowboys didn't much want Woods, preferring to turn the page after his four-year career here - and to his credit, a relatively successful career as he was a sixth-round pick who became a starter - flattened out.
READ MORE: Xavier Woods Leaves Dallas Cowboys
Woods started 44 games for the Cowboys over the last three seasons. But he registered just five career interceptions during his four seasons with the Cowboys, who under new coach Dan Quinn, searched for a playmaker to take his place.
Dallas grabbed Damontae Kazee from Atlanta on a very affordable one-year deal, hoping he'll grab some interceptions at Woods' replacement. And Woods obviously hopes he can grab the brass ring in Minnesota, reaching heights with the Vikings that never quite happened in Dallas.