Barry Church, Brodney Pool battle for Cowboys safety job

Posted Thursday, Jun. 14, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

When veteran safety Brodney Pool signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys in March, he knew he was getting the chance to perhaps earn a multi-year contract here or elsewhere.

He might not have known he would have to beat out Barry Church first.

"I think that's going to be a hell of a competition," defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said the first week of organized team activities.

He was right.

Church, a third-year player who went undrafted out of Toledo, and Pool, an eighth-year veteran out of Oklahoma, each got a lot of chances to impress the coaches because of a knee injury to Gerald Sensabaugh.

And both did.

"Right now, they are both competing for it and splitting time, and the best man will win," secondary coach Jerome Henderson said.

Church smiled at the thought.

"I definitely thought they were going to give me a shot at it," he said. "It was my responsibility to take advantage of it. So far, I think I did."

Pool has advantages, however. He is the veteran, and he has a history with Ryan. He is familiar with the defensive scheme, although it has changed since player and coach were together in Cleveland.

"Football is football," said Pool, who spent the past two seasons with the Jets. "There are only so many things you can do. From Cleveland to New York to Dallas, I've been through a lot of defenses. I've studied a lot. I've been with Rob before, so I know what's going on. He wants his players just to make plays. That's the best thing about playing for him. He's always got your back, and he wants you to go out there and perform at your best."

The Cowboys want athleticism and turnover-making ability in their safeties. It is what they liked in the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Pool.

"With Brodney, he's so athletic," Henderson said. "He's one of those guys that if the ball's in the air, you think he's got a chance to get to it. Great ball skills. Great range. Really loves the game. Plays it the right way. I love being around the kid."

But with Church, it is a learning period for Henderson.

That has meant studying Church on film from last year, when he proved to be a physical player near the line of scrimmage before his season was cut short by a shoulder injury that required surgery in the off-season.

"When you watch him on tape, he just jumps out at you," Henderson said of the 6-2, 220-pound Church. "You say, 'Wow, we've got to find ways to play this guy more.' He just shows up making plays. All the time. Always around the ball. You look at that, you say you want to give him more opportunities. Now he's getting his opportunities. We'll see how it plays out."

The first practice of training camp is scheduled for July 30 in Oxnard, Calif.

Church knows what he wants to do before then.

"I want to know the playbook, front to back, without even having to think about it," he said. "Bam, I know this call, I know that call. That's what I'm going to work on. ... Last year, you know, it was a miscommunication a lot of the times. Now I know the playbook, kind of front to back, but it'll get better going into training camp."

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7407

Twitter: @calexmendez

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
Minnesota 8/29 7:05 PM ET
Baltimore TV: FSN-N, MASN
Cincinnati 8/29 7:05 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: MLB N, FSN-OH, ROOT-PIT
NY Yankees 8/29 7:07 PM ET
Toronto TV: MLB Network, YES, SNET
Philadelphia 8/29 7:10 PM ET
NY Mets TV: CSN-PHI, SNY
Boston 8/29 7:10 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: NESN, Sun Sports
Miami 8/29 7:35 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FSN-FL, FSN-S
Detroit 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Chicago WSox TV: FSN-DET, CSN-CHI
Texas 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Houston TV: FSN-SW, CSN-HOU
Cleveland 8/29 8:10 PM ET
Kansas City TV: STO, FSN-KC
Chicago Cubs 8/29 8:15 PM ET
St. Louis TV: WGN, FSN-MW
Colorado 8/29 9:40 PM ET
Arizona TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-AZ
Oakland 8/29 10:05 PM ET
LA Angels TV: CSN-CA, FSN-W
Los Angeles 8/29 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: SportsNet LA, FSN-SD
Washington 8/29 10:10 PM ET
Seattle TV: WUSA 9, MASN 2, ROOT-NW
Milwaukee 8/29 10:15 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FSN-WI, CSN-BA
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 1Full Scoreboard
Thursday
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
Seattle TV: NBC
Sunday
New Orleans 1:00 PM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Washington 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: FOX
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: CBS
New England 1:00 PM ET
Miami TV: CBS
Oakland 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET
Philadelphia TV: CBS
Cleveland 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FOX
San Francisco 4:25 PM ET
Dallas TV: FOX
Carolina 4:25 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Indianapolis 8:30 PM ET
Denver TV: NBC
Monday
NY Giants 7:10 PM ET
Detroit TV: ESPN
San Diego 10:20 PM ET
Arizona TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, August 29Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard