Barry Church is getting good, guys
I feel like I’ve been driving the Barry Church bandwagon for two years, and the only people on it have been me and Mrs. Church. Barry was on it, but he fell off and he’s questionable to return. Anyway, here’s why I like Church and think he’s in for a huge year:
I was extremely high on safety Barry Church heading into the 2012 season. I wrote this:
It’s looking more and more like Barry Church will be the Cowboys’ starting safety opposite Gerald Sensabaugh on opening night. The move—letting a veteran player walk in favor of a young, albeit unproven commodity—has become typical for Jason Garrett during his short reign as head coach. It’s an extremely difficult decision to start a safety with zero career interceptions, but it’s the right one.
In 2011, I tracked Church as racking up 18 solo tackles. Playing 172 snaps, Church’s tackle rate of 10.5 percent was by far the best on the team. As a point of comparison, linebacker Sean Lee was second on the team with a 9.3 percent tackle rate.
In his rookie season of 2010, we saw similar production from Church. He totaled 10 solo tackles in 120 snaps, good for an 8.3 percent tackle rate. Again, that was one of the best marks on the defense.
I talk a lot about 40-yard dash times and weight/speed stats, but the most important factor when we’re projecting players in the future is a history of past production. Church’s on-field experience isn’t vast, but he’s been very productive.