Barry Church catches grief for return

SAN DIEGO – All Barry Church had to do to get in the end zone was make the quarterback miss. But Phillip Rivers made the tackle.

“Everybody on our team has given me a little grief on that,” Church said. “Even Coach Phillips gave me a little grief. I’m definitely going to catch it in the film session.

“I ran out of gas at like the 50-yard line. Next thing I know, it’s me and Rivers and I can’t make a move to save my life. He chopped my legs out and it was over after that.”

Church’s 80-yard fumble return provided some comic relief for the Cowboys, but it’s also evidence of his playmaking potential. That’s something the four-time All-MAC safety has shown during practice, including a two-pick Tuesday afternoon.

When Gerald Sensabaugh injured his shoulder in the first quarter, it gave Church a chance to play with the first team. The undrafted rookie wasn’t a weak link, making five tackles and scooping up the fumble.

“I feel like I helped the decision,” Church said, referring to a fight for a roster spot. “I’ve still got two games to prove myself that I belong on this team.”