Grading the ‘Boys: Safety battle shaping up

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Dallas, TX – The Dallas Cowboys have officially begun their Training Camp practices in Oxnard, California. So before we dive into all that is Training Camp and optimism, let’s take a quick look at how the safety position looks after OTA’s and Mini-Camps.

Barry Church- A+

Since the departure of Sean Lee for the 2014 season, Barry Church has become the leader in the locker room as well as the media face of the defense. Barry Church is about the only guy at this point that doesn’t have question-marks surround his season. Church hasn’t been on the level of the greatest safety in history but he leads by example and has done a great job exceeding his expectations. Church is a given at his position, which is more than you can say for anyone else.

J.J. Wilcox- B+

Wilcox had some flashes of play-making abilities in 2013, but a tragic event and other things got in the way of him really taking flight. However, every coach and executive believe that Wilcox can be the guys next to Church. Thus far in these practices nobody has come up to take his job from him. Wilcox is my pick for the Free Safety position barring any drastic changes.

Jakar Hamilton- B-

He’s sort of a pet cat for a lot of folks around Valley Ranch. His ability and range are certainly evident, but he’s going to have to step it up if he hopes to knock Wilcox off the starting gig. Hamilton is quick and plays very smart football, in fact he has really impressed Coach Henderson with his practice style. Maybe Hamilton can break through, I know Bryan Broaddus and Ed Cahill sure hope so.

Jeff Heath- C+

Heath had his struggles last year and they were mighty struggles at that. That being said Heath was a very good tackler and showed that he’s able to have that short term memory it takes to succeed at the pro level. The truth is that he was thrust into the fire without any instruction. Heath however has kept battling and was a star on the Special Teams unit. This season, I believe Heath could help in certain packages that won’t make him look so foolish, he has a knack for being around the ball.

Matt Johnson- I

Nothing to see here until he get’s on the field. He’s been hampered so long by injuries that he’s become a unicorn of sorts. I’ll believe it when I see it approach.

Ahmad Dixon- I

I’ve been very disappointed in Dixon. Why? Well because he’s my pet cat. When he was drafted I was very excited and his tape showed that he clearly knows how to be a difference maker, yet none of these things have shown up yet. He’s already been injured once, I’m just hoping that he can shake it all off. Dixon could be one of those guys that once the pads come on it all clicks. At least that’s what I’m praying for right now.

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