New Vikings safety Xavier Woods said one of the main reasons he chose to sign at Minnesota was the players he would be paired with in the team’s high school.
Via Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Woods said playing with Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson was a big draw for him. Woods said he took the time to study Harrison’s game before his former team, the Dallas Cowboys, prepared to face the Vikings last season.
“Just as much as I was preparing for the Minnesota attack, I was watching Harrison,” Woods said. “It was one of the main reasons I wanted to be here, to be able to learn from him, to be able to play (with him). And not just Harrison, but (Patrick Peterson). “
Woods started 44 games for the Cowboys in the past three seasons before traveling to Minnesota. He struck a deal with the Vikings within the week before officially signing on Monday. Woods had a record 77 career tackles in 2019 and had five career interceptions in his four seasons with the Cowboys.
In addition to playing with Smith and Peterson, Woods reunites with defensive back coach Karl Scott, who coached Woods to college at Louisiana Tech.
“The Vikings wanted me,” said Woods, “I spoke to (head coach Mike Zimmer) and he told me I had the opportunity to come and play. That’s all I can ask for.
Woods would likely play the free safety role canceled by Anthony Harris leaving for the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason.