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2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: S Barry Church

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: S Barry Church 1

A six-year member of the Dallas Cowboys' secondary, Barry Church has led the team in tackles the last three seasons. His 117 tackles in 15 games this season set him up for a big contract year in 2016.

It will be an interesting contract year for the safety at that, seeing as fans have been calling for a complete revamp of the position. 2015 first round pick Byron Jones appears to have found his home at the free position, leaving Church to man the strong position and do so with plenty of success.

One name in particular that has been thrown around is the safety out of Florida State, Jalen Ramsey, who will be an option for the Cowboys in the upcoming draft at the fourth overall pick.

While a safety combo of Jones and Ramsey provides an instant boost to the playmaking ability out of this secondary, sticking with a combination of Jones and Church, Heath and Wilcox provides stability for the Cowboys while allowing them to address other more pressing positional needs this offseason.

That said, let's take a look at what Church must do to earn more time in Dallas past 2016.

Cowboys Blog - 2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: S Barry Church

Barry Church

Barry Church provides what the Cowboys have desperately needed on this defense for the years he has been here - and this is a consistent tackler as the last line of defense from the strong safety position. This Cowboys defensive scheme is best suited when the offense can put up points quickly and give them a lead to play with.

When playing with the lead, Church can drop into his comofrtable deep safety spot and still come up to prevent huge plays from happening with tackles in the box. It's when trailing that Rod Marinelli must move Church closer to the line, where he is less comfortable.

Assuming J.J. Wilcox will see the field minimally in his upcoming 2016 contract year, a primary safety rotation of Byron Jones with Church and Heath splitting time next to him is a prettty solid plan for Dallas.

Jones in his second year should develop even more of a playmaking ability, and will be playing with the likes of Orlando Scandrick back from injury in front of him. Church on the other side is a trustable option to prevent big plays given up from the likes of Brandon Carr and potentially Morris Claiborne from becoming disastorous, game-altering plays.

Assuming Church stays healthy and the Cowboys can agree on a fair price, we should expect to see Barry back in the silver and blue after 2016.


As mentioned, J.J. Wilcox will be playing in a contract year as well in 2016 - and I'll be taking a look at him as well as other members of the defense coming up right here at InsideTheStar.com.

For now, let me know what you think about the safety position for the Cowboys and the futuer of Barry Church by sending a tweet to @ShoreSportsNJ or leaving a comment below!

Tell us what you think about "2016 Contract-Year Cowboys: S Barry Church" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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9 Comments
  • Jmaine jones

    I feel let berry church and carr and jj Willcox go and put fresh body in the line up put the guys that will fly to the ball on there put playmakers on the team not just anyone come on jerry jones we need a super bowl 51

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    I've been on the "cut Church for cap savings" wagon for a while, but the more I look at it the more I'm wavering. You get close to $3 million back by cutting Church this offseason. The average salary of the top-paid safeties in the game is about $9 million a year. Let's say you go after Eric Berry in free agency and he'll want at least that. You're saving are only one-third of the cost of the upgrade.

    I think Dallas needs to focus on cornerback and use Byron Jones to upgrade safety. J.J. Wilcox will be in the final year of his rookie deal and making backup money. Bench Wilcox, start Jones as more of a center-field FS, and then use Church closer to the LOS where he's more effective. Then you can focus all your cap space and draft picks on finding some running buddies for Scandrick.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    Just saw a different site (OverTheCap) that has Church's cap savings, if released, at $4.25 million instead of the $2.75 million I thought before. If that's true then that's even tastier!

  • Blue Star

    Miles Killbrew at SS please.

    Superbowl teams are expensive to keep together. Carolina does not have the cap to sign Norman. There is a chance he will test the market. I would overpay for Josh Norman if given the chance. Jerry has to think of the media rating for the Cowboys and Giants matchups. It would be over the top.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    The beauty of the Cowboys is that we don't need any player to help boost ratings. We're the #1 ticket in the NFL no matter how bad things get.

  • Blue Star

    Just gushing over the idea of Josh Norman keeping Odell out the end zone. Considering the Cowboys are forever in Beckham's highlight reel.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    Norman is amazing but he's also 28. He scares me as a free agent due to the money and years he'll want versus how much longer he can be a top player.

  • Blue Star
    Blue Star

    Miles Killbrew at SS please.

    Superbowl teams are expensive to keep together. Carolina does not have the cap to sign Norman. There is a chance he will test the market. I would overpay for Josh Norman if given the chance. Jerry has to think of the media rating for the Cowboys and Giants matchups. It would be over the top.

    Panthers could not get it done. Cowboys should offer Norman 3 year 45 million 25 mil guaranteed.

  • http://PigskinHub.com/ Jess Haynie

    That's too much money. Franchise tag is only paying $14 million.

Star Blog

Was Sunday A “Wake Up Call,” Or Were Cowboys Exposed?

Kevin Brady

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Was Sunday A "Wake Up Call," Or A Flashback To Reality?

Entering last Sunday's game in Indianapolis, the Dallas Cowboys were riding high. Having won five straight games, including key victories over the top seeded Saints and division rival Eagles, everything seemed to be breaking right for the Cowboys heading into the home stretch.

Their defense was playing like one of the best in football, and after firing Paul Alexander and trading for Amari Cooper their offense was clicking just as they'd hoped. They needed (and still need) just one win to officially close out the division and clinch a home playoff game in January.

Instead, the Cowboys got absolutely demolished by the Indianapolis Colts. Of course, there's no shame in losing a road game to an 8-6 team in the NFL, but the way in which they lost certainly deserves some shame. Not even the 23-0 score can encapsulate the complete butt-kicking Dallas received at the hands of the Colts, and it was the type of loss that can sometimes make you question the blueprint.

The Cowboys, however, are not looking at it that way. Multiple leaders in the locker room have spoke this week about how they "needed" to lose like that. Running back Ezekiel Elliott called the loss embarrassing, but also said it is better for Dallas in the "grand scheme of the season."

Clearly, the leaders and coaches are calling the putrid performance a wake up call, something that will galvanize them and reset their win streak heading into the postseason. But is this really the case, or was the shutout defeat more of a sign of things to come?

Obviously it's too early to say for sure, but I do think it can be a little bit of both.

No, the Cowboys are not the class of the NFC, despite beating what can be called the best team in the same conference a couple weeks ago. There probably will prove to be some drop-off from the top 3 seeds in the conference and the Cowboys, if for no other reason than Dallas will have to go on the road to play those teams in the playoffs. It's really hard to win on the road in the NFL, especially with the increased wackiness of 2018.

The Cowboys offense is far from perfect or prolific, though if clicking they now have the skill talent to drop 30+ points any given Sunday. Their defense is talented, has a high ceiling, but is still very young and inexperienced. Though they've played elite level games before, they've also had some stinkers against the Colts and Titans during the same season.

All of this can be true. The Cowboys can be a team deserving of the playoffs, a team we should not be panicking over, but still a very flawed football team. They can be a team that if "hot" could make a run through the postseason, but also will have to answer some tough questions about coaches and players during the next two offseasons.

After all, who isn't greatly flawed in today's NFL? Hell, we just saw the beloved Rams lose two straight games.



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Star Blog

Is it Too Late For Dallas to Fire OC Scott Linehan?

Brian Martin

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Scott Linehan

Grab your pitchforks and your torches, it's time to run the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan out of town. His playcalling has been absolutely atrocious season and it's time for him to hit the road, even if there are only two regular-season games left on the schedule.

It's completely unorthodox for an NFL team to fire an offensive coordinator this late in the season, but just last week we saw the Minnesota Vikings do just that when they parted ways with John DeFilippo. It was definitely a bold move to make considering the Vikings are still in playoff contention, but it was something they believed was in the best interest of their team.

I believe if the Dallas Cowboys want to do what's best for their team right now and not later, then they should go ahead and cut ties with Scott Linehan. His predictability and un-creativeness as a play caller is holding back a talented offense, which is hurting the overall team as a result. He's been given every opportunity to turn things around, but enough is enough.

I'd personally be on board with Jason Garrett taking over the playcalling duties. He has the experience and held the position with the Cowboys from 2007 until Linehan was hired. I'd even consider giving Kellen Moore a shot as the OC. He knows the system and has worked closely with Quarterback Dak Prescott. Regardless, the Cowboys need to find some way to increase their offensive productivity.

Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys QB Coach Kellen Moore

Right now the Cowboys offense is the 26th scoring offense in the NFL and are averaging just 19.7 points per game. To make matters worse they are the 31st ranked Red Zone offense in the league. I don't know about you, but I think that is completely unacceptable with the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.

Firing Linehan has been a long time coming. The Cowboys flirted with the idea earlier this season during the bye week and should've pulled the trigger then, but for some reason or another decided to let him stick around. They are definitely still paying for that mistake now.

The Cowboys mistake not to replace Linehan could mean yet another early exit in the playoffs, something we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Scoring just 19 points a game isn't going to get them very far, which is truly unfortunate considering the talent they've acquired this season.

Unfortunately, as much as we would love to see Scott Linehan tarred and feathered and run out of town, I just don't see the Cowboys doing that before their season is officially over. But, in no way should he be allowed to retain his position beyond this season. He clearly isn't the answer any longer.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should fire Scott Linehan?



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Star Blog

Despite Embarrassing Showing, Health Remains Biggest Cowboys Concern

Kevin Brady

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Zack Martin

What is it about the AFC South with these Dallas Cowboys?

Dallas' five game winning streak came to a close on Sunday, as they got straight-up embarrassed by the now 8-6 Indianapolis Colts on the road. The loss was the first since the Cowboys were embarrassed by a different AFC South competitor, the Tennessee Titans, on Monday night football earlier this season.

Though the final was 23-0, and not a single phase (or really even a single player) showed much fight or promise, the biggest concern I have for the Cowboys moving forward didn't change because of the putrid performance. It didn't change because the defense was gashed play after play or the offense failed to finish a single drive. And it didn't even change because both the Redskins and Eagles secured season-saving victories on the same day Dallas was dismantled.

The biggest concern is still their health, particularly across the offensive line.

That was not a playoff caliber interior offensive line the Cowboys put out their on Sunday. Not even close.

With their backup center in Joe Looney, backup guard in Connor Williams, and the very last interior offensive linemen on their roster in Adam Redmond playing for basically the entire game, this offense never had a chance. Dak Prescott wasn't any more inaccurate or indecisive than normal, but all those who like to scream "step up in the pocket" whenever he is sacked did not seem to have an argument this week.

There often was no pocket to step into, as those interior three, specifically Looney and Redmond, failed to provide much protection or confidence for Prescott at all. Joe Looney has actually been rather solid this season, but Sunday felt like one of his worst games of the entire year.

The Cowboys absolutely need Zack Martin to get healthy if they are to make any noise whatsoever in the postseason. At the very least, the need Xavier Su'a-Filo to come back and replace Redmond, and regain the form he displayed during his debut against the Eagles back in November.

Prescott already has issues with his pocket presence and footwork when pressured, so throwing three backup-level linemen right in front of him is not a recipe for success for the Cowboys.

I'm not jumping out of the window over this loss, and I don't think any of you should be either. Dallas had won three straight incredibly emotional and important home games to extend, save, and solidify their season respectively before this loss. They had also just about clinched the NFC East a week ago with their win over Philadelphia, and they played like a team that was due a flat performance

A letdown loss on the road, against a good team I might add, is not the end of the world. The bigger issue here is their health, because if Martin can return to anchor this offensive line, the offense should look a whole lot better than they did against Indianapolis.

It's time to move on from Sunday, go beat Tampa Bay, officially clinch the division, and get ready for Wild Card Weekend.



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