Super Bowl Or Bust For Woody Sarah Piland DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer July 1, 2004, 5:32 p.m. (CDT) IRVING, Texas -- He's no longer the elder statesmen in the locker room, 13th-year veteran Darren Woodson gladly handing off "gramps" to 40-year-old Vinny Testaverde, five years his senior. But make no mistake: This five-time Pro Bowler still has logged more time in this Cowboys' locker room (12 years) than any other player currently with the organization. So what he has to say carries significant weight. Woodson knows the defense must compensate for the loss of starting corner Mario Edwards, and that plays must be made if this team is to even have a chance of repeating last year's 10-6, playoff-appearance season. And ever the realist, Woodson says he'll take a wait-and-see approach to all that. But while that might be the case, Woodson has been around long enough to anticipate a low threshold of patience from Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells his second time around. Since Parcells has a much better handle on the team's strengths and weaknesses with one season under his belt, not to mention a better understanding of individual players' capabilities, Woodson says the head coach likely will be expecting more from this team. That, though is fine with Woodson. Even though he turned 35 during this past April's NFL Draft, he expects more from himself, too, and you will gain a better insight into the crafty veteran through this recent Q&A with the starting strong safety. You used to talk about being the oldest player on the team, you're not anymore. Woodson: I know. And it feels great, too. It's good not to be the oldest guy, but you know, at the same time, I'm still the oldest guy on this side of the locker room. Vinny knows what he's doing, he's professional, he understands the game and hopefully what he does can rub off on Quincy (Carter) and some of the young quarterbacks. How many more years do you have? Woodson: How many more years do I have to play? I don't know. We'll take a look at it. I take one year at a time. I've said this for the last two years because you know every year is a different challenge for me. So this year there's another challenge for me. I want to get to a Super Bowl, I want to win a Super Bowl, and then we'll see what happens after that. Right now, I'm just gonna take them one at a time. Parcells said as you get older the tread on your tires starts to get less and less. Are you feeling that at all? Woodson: Yeah, it does. I'm the same way. I know my window of opportunity is closing. So I'm gonna take advantage of every opportunity that I have. And I think we have the opportunity to get there. We have a chance to win the Super Bowl as long as we do the right things, as long as we practice hard and do the little things, we have a chance. What do you hope to achieve this year personally? Woodson: Super Bowl. Super Bowl victory - that's it. That's the one thing, to go to Jacksonville and win the game. I don't have any other small goals. I mean, I do have some individual goals as far as myself, but at the same time it's really about the Super Bowl. Last year you guys had a great defense, so do you think it will be even better this year after being under Parcells for a year and learning the system? Woodson: That's a wait-and-see deal. We lost Mario Edwards at the corner; we have a vacant corner spot right now, and there's some guys battling for that spot. It's gonna be hard to play at the same level that we played at last year, but we may have some breaks that go our way and we'll see what happens as the season goes on. Talent-wise, I think we'll be a lot stronger, but we're still gonna have to make some plays in order to win games. From this time last year, what's different about this locker room? Woodson: There's definitely more talking. You don't have to come looking for me anymore. You got Keyshawn (Johnson) and (Marcellus) Wiley and Vinny, and whole bunch of other guys. We've got some veteran guys that know how to carry themselves in the locker room, know how to carry themselves on the field - they're professional. I think it's going to be a different locker room. It's gonna remind me a little bit of the '95 team when Michael Irvin, Deion and a whole bunch of other guys that would come out and do a lot of talking were here. Parcells says he's gonna be less patient this year. Do you sense that at all? Woodson: I can see that because he understands what our strengths and weaknesses are. I think he knows what we can do good, and if guys are playing up to their capabilities. I think Bill's patience is gonna wear thin.