At the start of training camp the safety position was wide open for competition, but as of yesterday the competition seems all but over. Barry Church was given first team reps because of Brodney Pools inability to pass the conditioning test at the start of training camp. Church impressed the coaches so much, that he made free agent acquisition Brodney Pool expandable.
Barry Church was a 2010 undrafted free agent, he first made the team because of his outstanding work on special teams, he continued to impress and found himself playing in some sub packages on defense last year. Now it looks like the coaches will give Church the opportunity to occupy the vacant safety position. As of this moment the chances of Barry Church being the starter against the New York Giants in the season opener are great.
Although he is likely to be the starter, a freak injury (cross your fingers) could allow a guy like Danny McCray or Matt Johnson to step up and take his position. Injuries have been the norm in training camp this year, Miles Austin and Morris Claiborne were the most recent to suffer injuries. Although they are minor injuries, both Austin and Claiborne are out for at least a week.
On the other hand Barry Church should be the starter day one. He has had a great camp and it only took him six practices to eliminate Brodney Pool from the competition. Church has recorded 2 interceptions and 4 pass breakups within those first six practices, that’s great for a player who was once projected as a in the box safety. He did struggle some against the Detroit Lions last season, but he has improved in coverage since then.
Barry Church should acquire attention this season, we have seen his potential and film shows he can play in the box as well as go back in coverage. Hopefully the emergence of Barry Church will ultimately help stabilize the Dallas Cowboys safety position, which has seen many players come and go year in and year out. Barry Church has his first test as a starter next Monday against the Oakland Raiders, lets hope all goes well because the safety position hangs in the balance.