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Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Rookie report: J.J. Wilcox

By Todd Archer

With the Dallas Cowboys off this week at the bye week, we take a look at how the Cowboys' draft picks have fared.

J.J. Wilcox

Pick: Third round (No. 80 overall)

What he’s done: He was promoted to the starting strong safety role in Week 3 against the St. Louis Rams and held it until a knee injury against the Philadelphia Eagles. The hope is that he can return Nov. 24 against the New York Giants. He has 28 tackles and a pass breakup in his seven games of action to go with three special teams tackles.

Season outlook: From the first day of rookie mini-camp to the early stages of training camp and preseason, Wilcox showed the ability to make plays. The smaller the field the better, but the coaches learned to trust him even after an absence over the summer due to the death of his mother. The Cowboys were willing to part ways with veteran Will Allen because they believed Wilcox was ready.

Missing three games with a knee injury will not help, but the Cowboys need Wilcox to be something of a difference maker considering what has happened in the secondary so far. He had an interception vs. Philadelphia wiped out because of a penalty. He has been mostly playing in coverage with Barry Church handling the in-the-box duties. He has been safe in his decisions but seems more comfortable when the quarters are tight in the red zone to where he can read and react better.