IRVING, Texas – Barry Church is in the early parts of a comeback from Achilles’ tendon surgery, but the Dallas Cowboys safety has some peace of mind.
Last week the Cowboys signed Church to a four-year extension worth close to $9 million and an opportunity to add another $3 million through play-time escalators. He received a $2.5 million signing bonus.
“I’m glad they have a lot of faith in me,” Church said. “I was shocked a little bit. I thought I was going to have to come back from rehab and don’t have a deal or don’t have any security going into camp next year. They’re showing faith in me and I’m going to try to make it worth every penny for them.”
Church, who suffered the injury Sept. 23 vs. Tampa Bay on a non-contact play, said he will have the cast removed on Monday, “and then I can begin the real rehab.” He said he plans on being 100 percent by the time the offseason conditioning program begins next April.
He won the starting safety spot in the first week of training camp, allowing the team to cut veteran Brodney Pool, and had eight tackles, two pass breakups and a fumble recovery.
“He played really well and again is the kind of guy we want on our team,” coach Jason Garrett said.
Church will use former Cowboys cornerback Kevin Smith and current Cincinnati cornerback Leon Hall as inspirations in his rehab.
“Leon Hall did his last November and he was back in training camp and starting with the Bengals now,” Church said. “It’s not the same position but there’s a lot more running, but if he can do it I can do it too.”