#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.