Before the season, safety J.J. Wilcox was pegged as a former starter who might not make the final roster.
He had lost his starting job at free safety to Byron Jones in 2015. The signing of Jeff Heath to a contract extension and the drafting of rookie Kavon Frazier seemingly made Wilcox the odd man out – especially with his history of missed tackles, bad angles and poor coverage.
What people didn’t count on was Wilcox becoming the enforcer in the secondary. Wilcox made the team because has worked hard to improve his deficiencies. People forget he only played safety for one year in college before being drafted by the Cowboys. He was and is still a work in progress as far as reps and seeing things on defense.
Wilcox could always hit. He was doing that before strong safety Barry Church was sidelined for up to six weeks with a fractured arm. He was all over the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers, laying some thunderous blows on running back Le’Veon Bell that set the tone for a physical run defense that is the only team in the league to not allow a 100-yard rusher all season.