Dallas Cowboys legend Darren Woodson is loyal to the team he was a part of for 12 years, but he knows they have some work to do to be considered the best of the best this season.
Though he grew up a supporter of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Woodson, who won three Super Bowls with Dallas, has become a dedicated Cowboys superfan in retirement.
"I have amnesia," he joked to AOL Sports on behalf of Crown Royal. "Once I became a Cowboy and walked through those doors, everything changed."
Woodson saw plenty of success with the Cowboys, winning three rings in four years, including back-to-back Super Bowl victories over the Buffalo Bills in 1992 and 1993. Though America's Team hasn't made it back to the big game since 1995, Woodson sees a bright future for them this season if they can keep their division rival Philadelphia Eagles at bay.
"They're about to get into the meat of their schedule and we're going to find out how consistent this football team is, in all three phases," he said of the Cowboys, who have the Eagles, Patriots, Rams and Bills among the teams waiting for them in the back half of the season. "If they get into the playoffs, they'll be a team you really have to reckon with because they have really good personnel."
After a close Week 10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas is currently tied with the Eagles for first place in the NFC East. Woodson, who has served as an analyst for ESPN, lists the Cowboys among the top contenders in the NFC — which he calls "the tougher conference, hands down" — but they aren't the current team to beat.
"If there was a frontrunner [in the NFC], I would say the New Orleans Saints right now, but that could easily change," he said, noting that the most dominant teams generally become more apparent after Thanksgiving.
But of course, as is often the case, Woodson says that any team hoping to win Super Bowl LIV will have to go through Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the defending champion New England Patriots.
"It's still hard to count the Patriots out," Woodson said. "It really is. Until someone dethrones them, I feel like they're the best team in the NFL."