Safety J.J. Wilcox fighting for roster spot with Cowboys

IRVING, Texas - Byron Jones, the Cowboys' first-round pick in 2015, is moving from cornerback to safety. Barry Church is the Cowboys’ other starting safety.

That means J.J. Wilcox, who has started 29 games the past two seasons, is headed for a backup role, if he has a role at all.

He had one interception and three pass deflections along with 53 tackles last season. In 2014, Wilcox had five pass deflections, three interceptions and a forced fumble.

The Cowboys signed safety Jeff Heath to a four-year, $7.6 million deal in the offseason and drafted Central Michigan’s Kavon Frazier in the sixth round.

Wilcox, a free agent after the 2016 season who’s scheduled to earn $1.6 million this year, said he’s not worried about the business of the NFL.

“It's competition. It's the way the business goes. It's the way of the world,” Wilcox said. “You have to go out and put your best foot down and maybe on film and every time the camera is on. So, like I said, there's competition all over the field, the strong safety spot, free safety spot.

“Still, you never know what might happen because of OTAs and camp. So, I'm going to do my best from the beginning from the start."

Wilcox, who didn’t play safety until his final season at Georgia Southern, said he understands improvement is the only way to guarantee himself a spot on the Cowboys or in the NFL.

"I think I have to get better. Like I said, I'm still learning the position. This is my fifth year playing it. I've been playing offense all of my life,” Wilcox said. “So, I think I have a lot of upside. So, I just have to keep learning the game, study hard on the film, just be more consistent in open-field tackling and being the best safety that I can be."