Safety Barry Church got a chance to play with the first team as the Cowboys opened training camp Monday, and he hopes he looked confident doing it.
“I feel like they’re looking for a more confident me,” he said, asked what the coaching staff wanted to see out of him in camp. “Just knowing what I’m doing back there and being able to defend the deep half of the field. I feel like if I can do that, I can get myself into the starting lineup.”
Church has at least one advantage on his competition right now. He’s healthy.
Rodney Pool failed his conditioning test Sunday. Gerald Sensabaugh is limited as he works back from a knee injury.
That left Church and Danny McCray to take the first-team snaps in the afternoon practice.
“To me, it’s a really big deal,” said Church, a third-year player signed as an undrafted free agent out of Toledo in 2010. “Just to get to go out there with the 1s, be able to communicate with them, see how they play, feel how they play, it’s a big step for me.”
Sensabaugh’s knee recovery won’t keep him out long. So Church is trying to maximize his chance.
“Oh yeah, he’s the quarterback back there. He’s the man,” Church said. “Once he returns, I’m going to feed off him and let him run the show. But I’m definitely going to make some calls as well.”
Carr said the communication on defense was sharp in the first practice.
“We haven’t gotten into the difficult stuff so far, but so far, so good,” he said.
-- Carlos Mendez