#42 Barry Church
Barry Michael Church was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 11, 1988. He played his collegiate football career at the University of Toledo. He is a strong safety in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2010.
Barry Church attended Penn Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While attending Penn Hills, he was a standout two-sport athlete in both football and track.
As a member of the track team his junior year in 2005, Barry Church won the triple jump event at the PTFCA Indoor State Championship with a jump of 14.32 m (46’7”). He was also recorded as running a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the Metro Index camp.
Barry Church really made a name for himself on the football field while attending Penn Hills High School. His senior year he recorded 80 tackles, nine quarterback sacks, and four interceptions while playing safety. He also played on the offensive side of the ball as a wide receiver and caught 30 passes for 670 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Church was named to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25, Second-Team All-State Class AAAA, and First-Team Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League-East (WPIAL), and played in the Big 33 Football Classic.
Barry Church was inducted to the Penn Hills Sports Hall Of Fame in 2014.
After graduation from Penn Hills High School in 2006, Church accepted a football scholarship from the University of Toledo.
Barry Church was a four-year starter at the University of Toledo and started all 48 games of his collegiate career. He finished his playing career at Toledo with 354 tackles, 26 tackles for a loss, nine interceptions, 18 pass breakups, six forced fumbles, and three blocked kicks.
As a freshman, Church was named second-team freshman All-American by The Sporting News. He also ended up being selected All-MAC four straight years, making him the first Toledo player and the third Mid-American Conference player to ever achieve that distinction.
As a senior, Barry Church was named team captain and finished second on the team with 98 tackles. He also had 8.5 tackles for a loss, one interception, one forced fumble, and two pass deflections. He was one of the semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award (nation’s best defensive back) and was on the official “Watch List” for the Bronco Nagurski Award (nation’s best defensive player).
Barry Church participated in the East-West Shrine Game on January 23 and attended the NFL Scouting Combine.
2010 NFL Draft
Unfortunately, Barry Church didn’t hear his name called in any of the seven rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft. He ended up signing as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Cowboys.
As a rookie in 2010, Barry Church was active for every game except for the season opener. He finished the season with 16 special team tackles (fourth on the team) and also contributed by making 14 tackles on defense.
In 2011, he was a key substitute on defense until he dislocated his right shoulder in the 14th game of the season against the New York Giants. Church was subsequently placed on injured reserve.
After contributing as a safety and linebacker his first two years in the NFL, Church was named the starting strong safety a few weeks into the 2012 training camp. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending injury in the third game of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he tore his Achilles tendon. The Cowboys decided to gamble that he would be able to make a full recovery and signed him to a four-year contract extension.
The gamble paid off in 2013.
Barry Church would end up leading the team in tackles with 147 and also registered 107 solo tackles, which led all NFL defensive backs. In the 2013 season, he registered his first career interception, six pass deflections, and led the team with three forced fumbles.
In 2014, he once again led the team in tackles with 110. He also recorded two interceptions, six passes defensed, one quarterback pressure, one forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
In the 2015 season, Barry Church finished second on the team with 136 combined tackles. He finished the season a game shy of playing every single game after breaking his right arm against the Buffalo Bills in week 16.
Barry Church’s contract will expire after the completion of the 2016 season. In his final year with the Dallas Cowboys, his base salary will be $4,250,000 and his cap hit is $4,750,000. The Cowboys will have a difficult decision to make after the season in regards to Church’s future with the organization.
Cowboys Draft: Looking at West Virginia WR David Sills
Although the Dallas Cowboys won't be on the clock in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, they essentially invested their first pick in Amari Cooper. However, wide receiver remains a need for the team, specially with Cole Beasley heading for free agency. Out of West Virginia, Wide Receiver David Sills is an interesting potential target for Dallas. A quarterback-turned-wide-receiver story, Sills is one of those guys who constantly shows up when you watch his football team play. That's what you want in a receiver.
Let's dive in.
During his time playing for the West Virginia Mountaineers, David Sills was a scoring machine. He scored 35 career touchdowns (15 in 2018, 18 in 2017) and caught over 980 yards in each of his two seasons as a starter. The Big 12 is known for its lack of good defensive backs, which will naturally raise skepticism when discussing how good Sills really is but it shouldn't.
Sills is 6-foot-4 and weighs 210 pounds. His frame is constantly criticized but thanks to his size and his excellent ability to high point the football that shouldn't be an issue. He's one of the best in this draft class when it comes to 50-50 jump balls. He shines the most as a vertical threat, including over the middle of the field, which should be an interesting trait for the Dallas Cowboys. Throughout his career, he was almost indefensible when given the opportunity at deep over the shoulder passes.
Although he doesn't have the best acceleration, Sills' build-up speed can be lethal for opposing defensive backs. Paired with this is his skill to adjust for deep balls, slowing down when necessary to take on defenders.
What I personally like the most about Sills is his play in goal line situations. Whether it's playing inside on a slant or running a fade route, the Mountaineer wide receiver surely made a lot of opposing defenses suffer. Thanks to his background as a quarterback, his understanding of defensive coverages is pretty solid. He manages to find the defense's soft spots and get open constantly.
But why isn't he valued as a top prospect on this year's NFL Draft? Well, unfortunately, there are a few reasons for this.
First off, David Sills had some problems in the "drops" department. He has plenty of body catches that aren't necessary. When balls weren't on target, he often didn't make the play despite counting with a pretty good catch radius. He can greatly improve in his route running abilities and he was challenged by true press cornerbacks, struggling to release early.
For the Dallas Cowboys, Sills could be a solid contributor as a vertical threat and in the red-zone, where the offense struggled so much last season. With the class being quite loaded at wide receiver this year, Sills should be a realistic target even in the fourth round.
Cowboys Receive 4th-Round Compensatory Pick in 2019 NFL Draft
The Dallas Cowboys will receive an extra fourth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after the league awarded compensatory picks today.
The pick will be 136th overall, which is one spot below were Dallas drafted Dak Prescott in 2016.
And in other news... NFL awarded compensatory draft picks today - Patriots and Rams each received two third-round picks. The full list, per sources:
We have Anthony Hitchens to thank for this extra pick. The former Cowboys linebacker signed a five-year, $45 million deal with the Chiefs last offseason which far surpassed any of the deal that Dallas made with their own free agent acquisitions.
Only free agents whose contracts expired, not those released in the offseason by their previous team, count towards the compensatory pick formula. Therefore, Allen Hurns' deal was not a mitigating factor.
As mentioned already, the fourth round of the NFL Draft recently gave Dallas its starting quarterback. Other notable fourth-round picks in the modern era have been Hitchens, Doug Free, Marion Barber, and Chris Canty.
Last year, Dallas drafted DE Dorance Armstrong and TE Dalton Schultz with fourth-round picks.
Already short their first and sixth-round picks this year from previous trades, the Cowboys are certainly happy to have this extra selection for April's draft.
Dallas Cowboys 2019 Offseason Preview: Linebacker
One of the brightest spots on the Dallas Cowboys' projected 2019 roster is linebacker. The young pair of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch have already emerged as one of the league's best duos. But that doesn't mean that the Cowboys have no work to do at the position this offseason.
Having Jaylon and Leighton does take a lot of pressure off. Most teams utilize their nickel scheme more than any other these days, which generally utilizes just two linebackers, in the increasingly pass-focused NFL. And thankfully, both Smith and Vander Esch have shown great skills in pass defense.
But there's still a semi-starting role to get figured out in the base 4-3 scheme. Damien Wilson has held the strong-side or "SAM" position for the last few years and has an expiring contract.
What's more, Dallas has a big decision to make regarding the contract of Sean Lee, which is ripe for terminating with $7 million in salary cap savings possible.
It's highly unlikely that the Cowboys would keep both Lee and Wilson. If they decide to re-sign Damien, Lee will be cut to help fund that move and others. If Sean is kept on, Wilson will almost surely be looking for a starting role somewhere else in free agency.
Even if the Cowboys do make Lee a cap casualty between now and March 13th, they may still allow Wilson to test free agency and then try to re-sign him later at a discount. He's unlikely to attract the same attention that Anthony Hitchens got last year.
Another factor in all of this is Joe Thomas, a free agent addition last year who provided good depth and could potentially start in 2019. He is scheduled to count $2.2 million against the cap, which is fine for a primary reserve but a bargain for an occasional starter.
A core of Smith, Thomas, and Vander Esch gives the Cowboys a good foundation to build from. Smith can play the SAM in the base scheme and Thomas can be the primary backup to Jaylon and Leighton in the nickel.
However, going that route would deplete the depth chart. Chris Covington, a sixth-round pick last year, would be the only noteworthy player under contract. Dallas would need to find at least two more guys to fill out the group for 2019.
They could look at re-signing backup Justin March-Lillard, who would at least bring some familiarity and veteran experience. But that might still leave them looking for more of a primary reserve, which would be especially vital if Thomas is promoted to a starting role.
The projected LB free agent pool for 2019 should make it a buyer's market. Dallas may be able to re-sign Damien Wilson or even add an upgrade, like perhaps the Vikings' Anthony Barr, at a relative bargain. There should be ample options for depth as well.
Barring an extremely favorable value opportunity, don't expect the Cowboys to spend a significant draft pick at linebacker. The fourth-round is the earliest I could see one going based on other needs, and even then it would need to be someone they really like.
Good drafting is why Dallas has flexibility and leverage this offseason. The picks they invested in Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch appear to have made LB a strength of the team for the next several years.
There is still business to attend to, but the Cowboys won't have to be too concerned with linebacker in 2019 thanks to their young stars.
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