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August 25, 2012

Barry Church wants to get physical on defense, even if on his own teammates

Safety Barry Church got physical in Saturday night’s preseason game. On his own teammate.

He wound up getting more of cornerback Brandon Carr than the receiver on a pass breakup in the first quarter. But as Carr has told Church, that’s OK.

“He tells me every day in practice, just come down and make a play whenever you can, and I’ll try to get out of the way,” Church said, smiling as he talked to reporters about the play after the game. “He was definitely in the way a little bit there. I didn’t mean to give him a little hit. But it worked out. The guy dropped the ball. So everything’s cool.”

Everything is cool in Church’s world, too. An undrafted safety out of Toledo three years ago, he goes into the season as the starting free safety for the Cowboys. He will line up with Gerald Sensabaugh when the Cowboys start the season against the New York Giants.

“I believe I accomplished what I came out here to accomplish – winning a starting job,” Church said. “Now I’ve just got to take that next step to the regular season and keep progressing as a safety.”

Church said he and the Cowboys defense want to be known as physical. He hopes that showed against the Rams.

“I’m definitely trying to send a message to the receivers that we’re going to be here, we’re going to be physical,” he said. “If you catch the ball, be looking to get hit.”

If Church sounds like he’s gaining confidence in the defense, he should. In three preseason games, the Cowboys starting defense gave up two field goals, collected seven sacks and forced five turnovers.

“We’re definitely more comfortable than we were at the beginning of preseason,” Church said. “We learned each other’s strengths, weaknesses, communication. If we keep that up, we should be a pretty good defense.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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