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Mailbag: Barry Church's Future? Showers On The Practice Squad?

TYLER LLOYDBINGHAMPTON, NY
I haven't heard a lot about Barry Church.  In my opinion he has been our best tackler in the secondary and has been decent in coverage.  How is he holding up this year and is there a chance they resign him?  After all, he is only 28 and seems like a great guy to have in the locker room.

Bryan: Just from watching these practices and preseason games, it appears that Barry Church is healthy and excited to be in a scheme where they are putting him closer to the ball. With Byron Jones in the middle of the field, the coaches have asked him to be more of a down player. When Church can line up tight and not have to deal with too much space, it is easier for him to make plays whether it's in the running game or when facing the pass. Church can be an explosive player in just a short area -- which is something this defense needs. I expect to see him once again being that turnover creating player that we saw in 2014.   

David:If Byron Jones is everything the Cowboys hope he will be as a safety, then there might not be a bigger beneficiary than Barry Church. I completely agree with you – he's a great tackler and a fantastic locker room presence. He's great in run support, and he can clean up bad plays. Where he struggles is in pass coverage, where his athleticism doesn't translate. If Jones can pick up the slack in that regard, I think Church should be in for a great season. If that's the case, I'd absolutely re-sign him – though not at too steep a cost.

JOHN WALKERAUSTIN, TX
To ensure that we have a good chance of slipping Jameill Showers onto the practice squad, would it not be wise to sit him during the final two preseason games?  If he plays extensively in the last preseason game, as some have suggested, and looks so good, it decreases the chances of us being able to do that and we run the risk of losing him to another club.

Bryan:I am a big fan of Showers and I will always be grateful for the time that he took to visit with me about how he played. With all that being said, he needs to play and play a lot. If he looks good, then you will find a way to keep him on the 53-man roster so he won't be claimed. What you also have to remember is that he was on the practice squad the majority of the 2015 season and no one tried to take him. What you need to worry about is if he is put on waivers, goes unclaimed and leaves you because he wants a chance with a different team on their practice squad -- which is totally within his right because of how he sees his current situation here.

David:Someone made a fantastic point to me the other day, and it has stuck with me -- every team in the NFL has a guy like Jameill Showers. Now, that's not meant as a knock on Showers. But every team has a developmental quarterback who shows flashes and is eager to prove himself to the coaches. If you think back just a few years, Kellen Moore was that guy in Detroit with Scott Linehan. So I don't know if that many NFL teams will be beating down the door to get to Showers, as they might have a guy of their own who fits that description and knows that offense. I do worry that Showers may try to leave on his own accord if he doesn't see an opportunity for himself to get past Tony Romo and Dak Prescott on the depth chart – but that's just part of life in the NFL.

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