For Cowboys defensive lineman Antwaun Woods, the journey from growing up in Los Angeles to America’s team has not always been an easy one.
“I grew up in the jungle, probably one of the most-dangerous parts of L.A.,” Antwaun said. “I got into some trouble.”
“It lives up to its name, the jungle,” Antwaun’s father Phillip Woods said. “There is poverty, low income, no income, drugs. One day you have a friend, the next day they’re gone.”
Because of the crime-filled environment at home, Antwaun’s father, Phillip, made the decision to bus his son almost two hours each way out of the jungle for school, sending him to Taft Charter High School in Woodland Hills, California, north of Los Angeles.
“He was mad, he was hot about that one,” Phillip said. “It taught him there was more than just the neighborhood. There was more out there for him to go out and get.”
“That ended up being the best decision (my dad) ever made,” Antwaun said. “He raised me in a society that not a lot of fathers raise their child, and for that, I respect him. He means a lot to me.”
Phillip’s decision to send his son to Taft opened the door for Antwaun to attend his dream college, playing football for the USC Trojans in the Los Angeles Coliseum, the same stadium he will play in Saturday night now as a starter for the Dallas Cowboys.
“I’m pretty excited to be back in the Coliseum, a stadium that I love,” Antwaun said. “It’s a dream come true, but I’m definitely nowhere near satisfied.”