Former Dallas Cowboys star player and long-time ESPN analyst Darren Woodson is ready to hit the field for his next full-time career.
After 14 years with ESPN, Woodson signed off the sports broadcast network this week to work full time in the rough and tumble Dallas commercial real estate market.
He’s becoming a partner at Frisco-based property brokerage firm ESRP where he ‘ll be working right next door to the Cowboy’s new headquarters and practice field at the Star in Frisco.
Woodson has already been on the roster at ESRP since 2017 and felt like the time was right to transition to full time work in the real estate.
He says ESRP president Steve Jarvie had been trying to recruit him to his real estate team for years. Jarvie was an officer at Roger Staubach’s old brokerage company when he started putting pressure on Woodson.
"When he was at Staubach he was recruiting me then – when I was still a player," Woodson said. "About five years ago he really put the full court press on.
"Roger had a lot to do with this, too."
Woodson said the timing was right for him to exit his gig at ESPN and focus on real estate and the North Texas community that he loves.
"It was a grind," he said. "It wore me down through the years and was very time consuming.
"Now I will get my weekends back."
Or maybe not.
He’s going to be scrambling to complete plays in the country’s hottest real estate market where the competition for deals runs 24/7.
Woodson said he’s ready for the challenge.
He’s already been working in real estate on a part time basis for more than 15 years.
"I learned the real estate business with my old agent George Bass who worked with real estate developer John Weber," Woodson said. "I officed with Bass and Weber from 2003.
"I was still playing and somewhat learned the business," he said. "In the off season I would get dirty and down with it and I did some investing. I got the real estate bug back then."
Woodson said the first thing he learned is that real estate is a personal business.
"That’s one of the things that Steve Jarvie and Roger Staubach told me years ago, that this is a relationship business and a service business," he said. "They thought I would be very good at this doing business face to face.
"It plays into my strengths in my career in football and in the Dallas community," he said. "I can bring in some of the relationships I’ve had over the years."
He’s worked to support local organizations including the Make-a-Wish Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas.
With an 18-year-old son starting school at Oklahoma State, Woodson said he’s ready to cut back the weekly traveling that came with the ESPN job.
Still, Woodson said his departure was tough.
"It was emotional," he said. "I’ve worked a lot in the last 14 years there.
"There are so many relationships and friends."
ESRP’s Jarvie is glad he finally lured Woodson to his new roll with the company
"Darren has already made a meaningful influence on our organization – helping key customers like NTT Data, Argo Data, and Moneygram," he said. "Darren and I have been friends for over 20 years.
"He is intelligent, hard-working, energetic and such a team player. We are truly humbled to have him as part of the ESRP team."
Founded in 2013, ESRP focuses on tenant representation and last year participated in more than 375 real estate transactions valued at almost $1 billion.
The company is headed by Jarvie and CEO Sharon Morrison.
Woodson will be working at ESRP’s offices at the Dallas Cowboys’ Start in Frisco development.