Barry Church gets extension

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys signed Barry Church to a four-year extension worth nearly $9 million even though the starting strong safety is out for the rest of the season because of a torn Achilles.

Church, who was scheduled to be a restricted free agent after the season, will receive a $2.5 million signing bonus and the deal has $3.8 million in guaranteed money, according to sources. The total value of the contract could reach $12.4 million if Church reaches every incentive in the deal.

Despite the injury the Cowboys view Church as a big piece of the future at strong safety. He won the starting job in training camp and had eight tackles in the first three games before before getting hurt on Sept. 23 versus Tampa Bay. He also had two pass deflections and a fumble recovery.

The Cowboys expect Church to make a full recovery and be ready for 2013. He joined the Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2010.

Church is the second player the Cowboys have signed to an extension during the season. Defensive end Sean Lissemore signed a three-year extension worth $6 million on Sept. 13.