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Is Barry Church Responsible For Cowboys Defensive Resurgence?

Brian Martin



Barry Church

The Dallas Cowboys have one of the best offensive units in the entire NFL, but surprisingly it has really been their defense that has been keeping them in games here lately. This is really encouraging since the playoffs are just a few weeks away.

The defense for the Cowboys have really been playing at a high level over these last four games and I don't think it is a coincidence that is when team captain, Barry Church, returned from his forearm injury.

Barry Church returned to the starting lineup after missing four weeks with a broken forearm against the Minnesota Vikings, a game where Dak Prescott and the offense really first started struggling. It was a hard-fought game to the bitter end, but the Cowboys managed to win 17-15 in large part due to the performance of the defense.

The following week against the New York Giants, the offense once again struggled finding their grove, but it was the defenses performance that kept the game close to begin with.

Barry Church, Giants

The Giants game in particular is a game Church would like to have back. He was making plays all over the field, but dropped two would be interceptions that could have possibly been game changers. Under normal circumstances, he comes down with those INT's, but the arm brace he is wearing over his forearm seemed to get in the way.

I'm pretty sure he would like another chance at coming away with those interceptions, as well as the missed tackle that resulted in the Odell Beckham Jr. touchdown.

Fortunately though, ever since that game against the Giants, the entire team has gotten themselves back on track and has started to perform at a playoff caliber level.

Since Church's return, the Cowboys defense has really started to come into their own. During that four-game span, Church has 38 tackles and two pass deflections, but the defense has accumulated five of their nine interceptions, five of their 11 fumble recoveries, and 14 of their 34 quarterback sacks.

I don't think that's a coincidence. Do you?

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that Barry Church is the sole reason why the defense for the Dallas Cowboys has started to play so well. There are 10 other players out there on the field doing their jobs as well.

David Irving, Buccaneers

Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Sean Lee has been simply outstanding the entire season and I don't think anybody would argue that his presence on the field doesn't make this team better. Also, DE/DT David Irving has put together back to back dominating performances. But, I think it's Church's presence back on the field that has really solidified the cohesiveness of the entire defense.

Barry Church leads the defense with two interceptions (could be four) and is second on the team with 102 tackles according to the coaches count, despite missing four games.

Whether or not Barry Church is the reason the defense is playing so well lately doesn't really matter, but I for one belief the defense is at their best with #42 in the lineup.

Let's just hope Barry Church and the defense continue to play the way they have been, minus the first half against the Detroit Lions, once the playoffs get underway.

Do you think Barry Church is why the defense is performing so well?

Please feel free to use the comment section below to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic.

Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

Player News

Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber

Kevin Brady



Cowboys Headlines - Dallas Cowboys Re-Sign Linebacker Kyle Wilber

A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.


The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber:

Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.

Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.

The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.

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Player News

Report: Cowboys Officially Release CB Orlando Scandrick

Kevin Brady



Orlando Scandrick

After requesting his release from the team just a few days ago, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick has gotten his wish. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Scandrick has officially been cut by the Dallas Cowboys.

Josina Anderson on Twitter

I'm told the #Cowboys have informed CB Orlando Scandrick he will be released, per source.

This move will reportedly save the Cowboys roughly $1.4M against the salary cap, as we hope they finally look to make some moves during the Free Agency period.

Scandrick's release comes after an offseason in which the Cowboys totally overhauled the back end of their defense, specifically their cornerbacks. With the emergence of young, promising players such as Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis, and the health issues of the aging Scandrick, the move makes a lot of sense.

In fact, after the Cowboys drafted Awuzie in the second round of last year's draft it was rumored the Cowboys were looking to move Scandrick for extra draft picks. Instead, one year later, they have cut him to save some cap room.

Orlando Scandrick should have a market to find a new team elsewhere, but his time in Dallas has now come to a close.

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Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys Have Missing Piece at Offensive Line

Jess Haynie



Dallas Cowboys Have Big Hole on Offensive Line
Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News

There are a lot of positions being talked about right now for the Dallas Cowboys. Upgrades are needed at several spots, but one critical position needs even more than that. Left guard is completely unmanned, and that could be a big problem for the 2018 offensive line if it's not addressed soon.

Last year's starter, Jonathan Cooper, is currently an unrestricted free agent. So are backups Joe Looney and Byron Bell.

Right now, Chaz Green is the only other non-starter under contract who has any NFL experience at left guard. Nobody wants to see him on the field next year.

Dez Bryant may be a big topic but at least he's under contract. The same goes for safety, where we at least have options to turn to if free agency or the draft don't yield anything.

Left guard, though? The cupboard is bare.

La'el Collins' Position Flex Could Come in Handy for Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys OT La'el Collins

One option could be to move La'el Collins back to guard, where many feel he has the most upside, and then find a new right tackle. But that would be changing two positions to fill one hole, and Collins was playing well at tackle by the end of the year.

And obviously, we don't want to see Chaz Green playing that spot either. Or any spot. Ever.

No, at this point it makes sense for Dallas to leave Collins where he is and either sign or draft a starting LG. The question is how much do they want to invest?

The Cowboys are already shelling out big bucks to Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. Even Collins counts about $7 million against the cap. They have three first-round picks already tied up in the offensive line.

Some thought veteran free agent Josh Sitton would be a nice option, but he got picked up by the Dolphins today for about $8-9 million per year. That's more than Dallas can afford given their limited cap space and other needs.

No, the LG in 2018 is going to need to be a salary cap bargain. That means either re-signing Jonathan Cooper or Joe Looney on the cheap, or perhaps paying a rookie salary to a high draft pick.

Last year's 19th overall pick, O.J. Howard, counted just $2 million against the Bucs' salary cap in 2017.

There are some older veterans who could be cheap band-aid options, such as Matt Slauson or Evan Smith. But you don't get very far down some lists of available guards before you see Jonathan Cooper's name, and continuity is always a plus.

The point here is don't expect any big move, even with the enormity of the need. Dallas will likely reach an agreement with Cooper after he's tested the free agent waters a bit, assuming nobody else scoops him up.

If not, the need at left guard will become increasingly dire the further we get into the offseason.

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