Wilcox's status still uncertain for Sunday against Rams
IRVING, Texas - Dallas Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox isn't sure if he'll start Sunday against the St. Louis Rams but the rookie did take first-team snaps during practice this week.
Wilcox said the move was made just so the safeties could see a different rotation. But he also seemed to be choosing his words carefully.
"Only coach [Monte] Kiffin and them know that," Wilcox said. "I can't say right now. I just have to be ready when my number's called."
Wilcox said he thinks he's ready for the challenge of being a starter and said he's playing more freely and less robotic than a month ago in training camp.
During his time in Oxnard, Wilcox was impressive, making big hits and showcasing his exceptional athleticism. Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones named Wilcox earlier this month when he was asked during a radio interview for players who could have a breakout season.
Wilcox left camp early last month to return home to be with his ailing mother, who passed away two days later. As Jones noted, missing some time probably set the third-round pick back in his attempt at winning a starting spot.
"Obviously it's tragic that he lost his mother and for all the obvious reasons, set him back a little bit," Jones told Jones told the Ben & Skin show on 105.3 The Fan [KRLD-FM]. He did the right thing to go spend time with his family and get that situation resolved. But I still think before it's all said and done, he's going to make a huge difference."
Will Allen is the player that Wilcox would be replacing in the starting lineup. Allen, who started seven games last season in Pittsburgh, was signed in March to give the Cowboys a veteran familiar with Kiffin's Tampa-Two scheme. Allen played for Kiffin for six seasons in Tampa Bay.
"Will's a 10-year vet, he earned his stripes, so a young pup like me has to come in and help pick up the slack and help where he's not able to," Wilcox said. "Just trying different stuff."
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