IRVING, Texas** – There were a few players who probably felt "horrible" after Sunday's last-second loss to the Lions.
Safety Barry Church might have been atop the list. He suffered a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter that kept him sidelined for the last two drives. It forced rookie safety Jakar Hamilton, who had been signed to the roster two days earlier and had never played an NFL snap, to make his professional debut with the game on the line and Detroit's Calvin Johnson on the other side.
"It was the worst feeling," Church said. "I couldn't believe I wasn't out there for that. I just felt so bad for Jakar. But I couldn't go. I would've been worse."
Hamilton was late on two plays down the field that led to the Lions' game-winning touchdowns. But while the rookie safety will likely improve, Church doesn't expect Hamilton to be in the same situation this week.
"I'm playing Sunday," Church said. "I practiced all day [Wednesday] and I'm feeling good now. I'm going to be there this week." [embedded_ad]
The Cowboys might already be without one starter in J.J. Wilcox, who missed last Sunday's game with a knee injury. Rookie Jeff Heath started his first game and played well in reserve. Heath is expected to start again if Wilcox can't go.
Church said playing the Vikings is always a tough challenge because of their All-Pro back.
"Yeah, Adrian Peterson is great. He'll put a lot of pressure on the safeties," Church said. "Our run fits are usually in the middle of the defense, but we're showing 10 yards away. So if that gap opens that's our gap we have to go into. And with him going through that hole, you don't want to be 1-on-1 with him in any situation. The key for us is to stop him before he gets going to us."