Church's Temporary Role Increased Value

While the Cowboys are definitely hopeful that Sean Lee will be back in action this Sunday against the Bills, and can function with that wrapped-up left wrist, at least they're working on some solid contingency plans just in case.

One of which we saw some last week against Buffalo included backup safety Barry Church working into the nickel packages as a linebacker closer to the line of scrimmage.

Church responded with one of his most productive games of his career, with a career-high tying six tackles. Those six tackles also tied for second-most on the squad Sunday and he did so in a limited role.

"He did a really good job," head coach Jason Garrett said of Church. "He's a guy that's always taken advantage of his opportunities shows up in the kicking game, very physical very instinctively and he stuck his nose in there a number of times and he actually caused a holding penalty on an offensive lineman before then, just very instinctively kinda getting away from potential blockers and making some plays on the runners. I thought he did a nice job and took real advantage of that opportunity we gave him."

Church said taking on 300-pound linemen wasn't an easy adjustment early in the game.

"It was rough, but towards the end of the game, I was able to use my quickness to get around them," Church said. "I just had to use my quickness to my advantage. I think I did well overall. I miss a couple of run-fits. Those will come with more experience and more time at that position. Hopefully, I'll get some more playing time there."

Church, who made the team last year as an undrafted rookie from Toledo, played mostly on special teams. He began training camp as a starting safety before the team signed Gerald Sensabaugh and Abram Elam. But with both of the Cowboys' starting safeties signing just one-year deal, it opens the door for guys like Church, especially if they show they can take on additional roles like the one he handled last Sunday.  

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