J.J. Wilcox has played a total of 13 games in the NFL, but he’s impressed coaches enough in that time to come into 2014 as the assumed starter opposite Barry Church.
The Cowboys certainly feel like Wilcox is ready to make that next step. Before his mother passed away last August, executive vice president Stephen Jones says, the Georgia Southern product was in line to enter his rookie season as the starter. However, he missed some time to be with his family, which left veteran Will Allen to begin the season as starter.
“I just sense he’s going to make a step,” said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli last week, per the Dallas Morning News. “You feel good about it, but now he’s got to go do it.”
Wilcox ended up starting five games in the middle of the season before suffering a knee injury, which cost him three games. He finished with 38 tackles and one pass defensed. After flirting with the starting job as a rookie, he has every intention of capitalizing on this opportunity.
“It tells me that I have to be on my game,” Wilcox said. “In this league, even if you’re a backup, you have to be on your game. To know that they have the respect for me to put me in [as a starter], I want to show them that it’s going to pay off."
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