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November 24, 2013

Barry Church says Cowboys missed Wilcox's instincts, will benefit from Claiborne's man skills

The Cowboys missed J.J. Wilcox’s instincts in the secondary while he was out, but Jeff Heath did a good job while he was in there, also, safety Barry Church said.

“They’re both similar players. I just feel like maybe J.J. might be a little more instinctful,” Church said. “And then again, Heath, he knows the system a little bit better than Wilcox. It has its pros and cons, but they’re both great players.”

Wilcox is due back Sunday against the Giants after missing three games with a sprained knee. Heath started in his place and took his lumps, particularly two weeks ago against the Saints.

Church said it will be good to have Wilcox, who had what looked like a breakout game at Philadelphia before he was hurt in practice the following week.

“After the Philadelphia game, the sky’s the limit for the guy,” Church said. “He just got a bad injury out there in practice. But he’s healthy now. He’s back out there. He’s going full speed. Look for him to continue that path, keep rising.”

Church said it will also help to get Morris Claiborne back, so the Cowboys can take advantage of his experience.

“He looks good. There’s no gimp in his stride, he isn’t hitching or nothing like that,” Church said. “He’s been out there playing great in 1-on-1s and competing really well. So with him back in the lineup, we’ll be able to do a little bit more things as far as the defense is concerned with man and stuff like that.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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