#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.
REPORT: Cowboys WR Michael Gallup Out 2-4 Weeks After Knee Surgery
Two games into a seeming breakout season, Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Michael Gallup will now be out for the next 2-4 weeks after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus. He suffered the injury late into the Cowboys' victory over the Washington Redskins yesterday.
An MRI revealed the extent of the injury today. There were hopes that Gallup had only suffered a contusion, but unfortunately he will be out at least a couple of games after requiring this minor knee procedure.
Gallup is the team leader in catches (13) and receiving yards (226) after the first two weeks of the 2019 season.
Sources: #Cowboys promising WR Michael Gallup is having arthroscopic surgery to trim his meniscus, knocking him out 2-4 weeks. No structural damage besides the meniscus tear, so the return should be quick.
The Cowboys still have Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb as a strong starting duo. They also hope to get Tavon Austin back this week after he was inactive in Washington with concussion issues.
Gallup's absence could be big for Devin Smith, who had a 51-yard touchdown catch against the Redskins and should see more work in the coming weeks. It also may prompt Dallas to keep prospect Cedrick Wilson, just called up from the practice squad a week ago, on the 53-man roster a while longer.
Despite this depth, Michael Gallup will still be missed for however long he's out. Hopefully he can return on the quick side of the projection and keep his 2019 momentum going.
3 Stars from Dallas Cowboys Win over the Washington Redskins
As the Dallas Cowboys put away the Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon, the Cowboys moved to 2-0 with their 31-21 win over their NFC East rival. Just as important, the Cowboys moved to 2-0 in the NFC East and in conference play.
Those things aren’t important now, but as the season goes along and inches toward December, those divisional and conference records matter when it comes to settling tie breakers. The Dallas Cowboys are off to an excellent start to the season and have clearly taken to the offensive coaching their receiving.
In their second double-digit win of the season, there were several players who stood above the rest and named this week’s three stars.
Dak Prescott, Quarterback
For the second week in a row, the number one star goes to the most valuable player on the team, Dak Prescott.
After another shaky start to the game that saw Prescott go 4 of 7 for with an interception, he finished the day 26 of 30 for 269 yards, three touchdowns, and the interception. Prescott also added 69 rushing yards on five carries.
Of Dak’s four incompletions, two of them were dropped by the wide receiver, one was a throwaway out of the back of the end zone, and the other was the interception that bounced off of Randall Cobb’s hands. He was nearly perfect on the day and got the Dallas Cowboys on the board with a beautiful deep ball to Wide Receiver Devin Smith for 51 yards.
As he did in week one, Dak Prescott continued to show a tremendous command of the offense. His pre-snap recognition has been sublime through the first two weeks and he’s done a fantastic job getting the ball out on time and spreading the ball around.
On Sunday, eight different Dallas Cowboys caught passes. Four wide receivers, two tight ends, and two running backs.
Dak Prescott is playing at a very high level right now and with the tanking Miami Dolphins up next on the schedule, there's no reason to believe he can't keep up this career-best pace.
Devin Smith, Wide Receiver
Called into action as Tavon Austin deals with concussion-like symptoms, Devin Smith made the most of his first target of the season, beating Josh Norman deep for a 51-yard touchdown strike. The big play got the scoring started for the Dallas Cowboys and sparked an offense that wasn’t getting much accomplished in the first quarter of the game.
Smith’s ability to win deep also helped him catch another couple short passes as the Washington Redskins’ secondary had to respect his deep speed. He caught two other passes, one of which went for a first down and likely catapulted ahead Tavon Austin on the wide receiver depth chart moving forward.
Smith finished the day with three receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. With his productive day on film now, Dallas Cowboys’ opponents have another weapon to account for in the Dallas Cowboys passing game. As if Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and Randall Cobb weren’t hard enough to scheme against, the Cowboys now can deploy four wide receivers who can win down the field.
After his excellent game on Sunday, look for Devin Smith to get more opportunities.
Ezekiel Elliott, Running Back
On Sunday against the Washington Redskins, Ezekiel Elliott looked fully up to speed. The Washington Redskins did a good job of rallying to Elliott at the second level, but he did a fantastic job reading his blocks and making people miss to get to the linebacker and secondary levels of the field.
Elliott didn’t break any big runs, but he was close several times and did a good job finding cut back lanes.
On the day, Ezekiel Elliott finished with 23 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown. He also added two receptions for nine yards.
After sitting out all of training camp, Elliott showed up in good shape. It only took him two weeks of practice to return to his typical workload. He was an important piece late in the game as the Dallas Cowboy went to work grinding out the clock with a big lead.
Despite the big performance by the passing game the first two weeks of the sesaon, Elliott and the run game will continue to be a huge part of the Dallas Cowboys offense. The big difference this season, however, is that teams are going to be forced to respect Dak Prescott and the passing game. That should only help Ezekiel Elliott by giving him much more favorable defensive fronts to run against.
In the first two games of the season, the Dallas Cowboys have shown off an elite passing game, to go with their now highly regarded passing game. If the offense can maintain this kind of balance moving forward, they’re going to be incredibly difficult to stop.
Dak Prescott Dominates Redskins, Ties own Career-High for Consecutive Completions
Dak Prescott had a historic day in last week's season-opening win against the New York Giants. He set a franchise record for passing yards in a season opener, threw four touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 passer rating. Prescott would be named NFC Offensive Player of the Week and set up a huge early-season road test against the arch-rival Washington Redskins, a team he's had great success against. If there were any thoughts of a letdown performance by Prescott, they didn't last very long.
The first quarter was a nightmare offensively for the Dallas Cowboys. They only managed 36 yards on 9 plays and found themselves in a 7-0 hole. About midway through the second quarter, Prescott led a seven-play 97-yard drive that was capped off with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Devin Smith. Just before halftime, he engineered an eleven play 83-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass to Jason Witten and gave the Cowboys a 14-7 halftime lead.
Prescott came out firing on the opening possession of the second half going 5 of 5 and finding Amari Cooper for a touchdown that put the Cowboys up 21-7. The Redskins added a touchdown and the Cowboys added a field goal before Ezekiel Elliott's touchdown in the fourth quarter put the game out of reach 31-14, which they eventually won 31-21.
Prescott ended the game with 18 consecutive completions which tied his own record. In the second half, Prescott was a perfect 14 of 14 for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through two games, he's 51 of 62 (82.3%) for 674 yards and 7 touchdowns with only one interception. He joins only Don Meredith in 1966 as the only Cowboys quarterbacks to have 7 touchdowns in the first two games of the season. His passer rating is an amazing 142.9 as he's led the Cowboys to their first 2-0 start since 2015.
Coming into this season there were still a lot of doubters when it came to Prescott's ability to throw the football accurately on a consistent basis. Even a perfect passer rating in week one those questions were still a topic of discussion considering the Giants weren't seen as a real test. When his All-Pro teammate Ezekiel Elliott was asked about those who continue to doubt his quarterback, he was firm in his stance.
"They don't matter, " Elliott said. "All that matters is what we think in this locker room. We all support each other and we know Dak is one of the best QBs in this league. They can doubt all they want. We'll keep proving them wrong."
All the offseason preparation by Prescott with Quarterbacks Coach Jon Kitna and Offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore is paying huge dividends so far. The chemistry between himself and his pass-catchers can't be denied, as he's off to the best start of his career. He'll look to make it 3 for 3 this Sunday in Arlington against the Miami Dolphins.
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