Dallas Cowboys: Breaking Bad (Contracts) in 2016

3 of 5
dallas cowboys
Nov 15, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Dallas Cowboys strong safety Barry Church (42) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Dallas Cowboys 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys Players Most Likely to be Cut: #2 Barry Church

It pains me to list him, but after a lackluster season, Barry Church has to be on the chopping block. Slated to make $3.25M in 2016, Barry Church isn’t breaking the bank in the same way Brandon Carr is, but he clearly under-performed in 2016.

Barry Church is in the final year of his 2012 deal. If cut this offseason, the Dallas Cowboys would free $2.75M and only suffer a $500,000 hit in dead money. The question at hand is can the Cowboys replace Barry Church for the amount they’ll save or is Church’s modest salary equal to his modest performance?

If it seems like a wash, the Dallas Cowboys will opt to stay with Church for another season. Barry Church is a perfect example of Jason Garrett’s “right kinda guy” (RKG). The undrafted free agent has been a fixture on this Cowboys roster over the years. He has leadership, character, and workman’s like attitude.

By all accounts, Barry Church had a down season with the Dallas Cowboys. Ranked by the scouts at Pro Football Focus as the 66th best safety in the NFL (based on 2015 performance only), the 27-year-old Church has been a massive liability in coverage this season.

Throughout his career, Barry Church has never been anything more than average as a pass defender, but this year he played significantly worse in that role. One explanation could be how Church was used this past season. The Cowboys operated predominantly out of the single high safety scheme. In this, the Cowboys used either rookie Byron Jones or J.J. Wilcox back as the deep safety. Barry Church was asked to play the in-the-box strong safety.

While this role played to his strengths, it made him all the more awkward when asked to work in coverage.

Is $3.25M too much to pay for a one dimensional safety? Even if that one dimension ranks him as the second best run-stopping safety in the NFL? We’ll see.

2016 Salary: $3.25M

Savings if cut: $2.75M

Chances of being cut: 25%

Next: The Right Tackle, Doug Free