Barry Church with a plus and minus

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good with young players.

Second-year safety Barry Church stopped San Diego’s first drive with a nifty breakup in the end zone on a Philip Rivers’ pass to tight end Randy McMichael, setting up a Chargers’ field goal.

“They love to go to [Antonio] Gates down in the red zone, so I figured I’d be a main target of that,” Church said of San Diego’s normal plan had Gates played Sunday. “Luckily the ball was a little behind and I was able to make a play.”

In the second quarter Church was called for pass interference on wide receiver Richard Goodman, giving San Diego the ball at the Dallas 15. The Chargers scored on the next play, however, the penalty seemed a little harsh.

“If the ref called it,” Church said, “it must’ve been a penalty … I just view it as being aggressive and sooner or later that’s going to pay off for me and I’ll be able to get a pick the next time.”

Church, who also had a special teams’ tackle, has had a productive camp and has been working on the first-team dime package in practice.

“I’m feeling more comfortable and that’s making my game play a lot faster,” Church said.