OXNARD, Calif. – Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox will rejoin the team next week in Dallas after all arrangements are taken care of for his mother, who passed away after a long battle with Lupus.
Wilcox left camp after the second preseason game against the Raiders to be with his mother, Marshell, and had been excused by the team for as long as he needed. He'll be with his family this week and will not rejoin the team in California.
Head coach Jason Garrett said it's a tough situation for anyone, let alone a 22-year-old rookie just beginning his dream of playing in the NFL.
"It's obviously a very difficult time, and we have complete respect for what is going on in his life right now and want to give him all the opportunity to make sure he takes care of that the way he needs to," Garrett said. "All the support systems are available to him. I think it's just a really difficult thing." [embedded_ad]
Wilcox's mother managed to be by her son's side when Wilcox was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round this year, despite her sickness which had her going back and forth from the doctor's office for treatment. Wilcox said after the draft how much it meant that he could share that moment with her.
"She's way tougher than I am," Wilcox said after the draft. "She's a strong young lady. I'm just blessed to have her in my life."
The safety from Georgia Southern has been one of the top rookies in camp, leading the team with six combined tackles in the Raiders game, while also picking off a pass in the end zone.