Why Barry Church was ever asked about his starting job in the first place is head-scratching, but the Dallas Cowboys‘ starting strong safety has a job in the secondary and it’s extremely safe. Sure, the Cowboys drafted JJ Wilcox and signed Will Allen this offseason, but neither of them were brought in to compete with Church. Still, Church gave the politically correct answer when asked about it, although he added a little confident note for punctuation.
“I definitely feel like the job’s mine to lose and I don’t plan on losing it.”
The job is his, but the only way he’ll lose is if he suffers another season-ending injury. If he hadn’t torn his Achilles tendon three weeks into the 2012 NFL season, Wilcox and/or Allen might not be in Dallas. Sure, Wilcox was brought in to replace Gerald Sensabaugh at free safety, but had Church stayed healthy, the Cowboys’ secondary might have improved the team by one game, which would have resulted in a division title. Thus, the domino effect of Church’s injury was devastating.
Still, Church isn’t penciled in as the starter at strong safety — his name is written in ink and for all practical purposes, it might as well be written in stone. Seriously, he was that good last year and he’s still the unquestioned starter at his position with a new defensive coordinator in town; Rob Ryan loved him and if Monte Kiffin doesn’t already, he will soon.