STARTER BACK IN ACTION: Cowboys safety Barry Church learns to ‘pepper down’

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OXNARD Calif. – Somewhat lost in the preseason loss at Oakland last Friday was the return to game action of safety Barry Church.

Church tore his Achilles in the third game last season against Tampa Bay and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve. He was able to take part in every facet of the offseason and has not missed a practice in training camp.

He did not play in Hall of Fame Game against Miami on Aug. 4 with the coaches keeping all but one defensive starter on the sidelines, but he was in his starting role against the Raiders. His anxiousness showed on two missed tackles.

“I was trying to kill-shot everybody instead of peppering down and making the sure tackle,” Church said. “I worked on that and it should be improved in the next game.”

Church used the phrase “pepper down” four times in a short interview, a sign that the coaches had a message for him after the game. In Sunday’s practice he had an interception, knocked wide receiver Terrance Williams to the ground and had a would-be kill shot on Dez Bryant.

“I feel the same as I did last year,” Church said. “I feel like the power in my leg is back. I don’t feel like there’s nothing really inhibiting me from doing other things. I feel like it’s the same.”

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