Barry Church no ordinary Joe

January, 28, 2014
Jan 28
9:00
AM ET
IRVING, Texas – The easy thing to do when it comes to how Jerry Jones runs the Dallas Cowboys is to poke fun at all of the moves or even the proposed moves.

On Monday, I took Jones to task for the possible addition of Scott Linehan to the staff. I have nothing against adding Linehan. In fact, I think it would be a solid move, but if Linehan is the play caller, then the Cowboys should move on from Bill Callahan.

But there are times where the owner and general manager needs some praise. I believe the Cowboys were wise to sign Dan Bailey to a contract extension, even one that runs seven years. Bailey’s cap number the next two years is low and will not prevent the Cowboys from doing any shopping.

And there’s also another deal where Jones needs credit. It has to do with safety Barry Church. At the time of the extension, Church was coming off a torn Achilles’ tendon and those are difficult rehabilitations.

Church started every game in 2013. He led the Cowboys in tackles with 147 (in part because of Sean Lee’s injuries). He had five tackles for loss. He had an interception. He had six pass deflections. He forced three fumbles and recovered one, returning it for a touchdown.

He proved to be a terrific open-field tackler. Perhaps he had too much practice at it considering how poor the front seven played at times in 2013.

For his efforts USA Today named Church to its All-Joe team, which recognizes players that have not earned a Pro Bowl trip but had terrific seasons nonetheless.

There is also this to like about Church. He is set to make $1 million in 2014 and count just $1.5 million against the cap. For a starting safety, that’s a great price. Is Church perfect? No, but if the defense had more players like him it would be much improved. Church can earn an extra $500,000 in base pay for 2015 if he plays a certain percentage of the snaps inn 2014. Again, the Cowboys have a bargain.

OK, that’s enough nice things to say.

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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