IRVING - Rookie safety J.J. Wilcox will get his first NFL start Sunday against St. Louis in place of veteran Will Allen, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said Friday evening on KRLD-FM 105.3.
Wilcox has received a lot of the first-team repetitions the last two days in practice in place of Allen, who started the first two games.
Wilcox, the third-round pick out of Georgia Southern, only played safety his last season in college. Wilcox showed promise in training camp, though he missed about two weeks after his mother died in Georgia.
The Cowboys made Allen, who is in his 10 th season, one of their two off-season free agent signings. He struggled at times in pass coverage the first two games.
Wilcox was asked Friday about his increased role this week.
"What, on special teams?" he said, smiling.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday that Wilcox "has improved a great deal" since training camp. Wilcox said he's learned a lot from Allen.
"He's probably been the best mentor I've had," Wilcox said. "He took me under his wings, no hesitation. He's a great, wonderful person."BRIEFLY ...
A big topic this week has been the Cowboys' slow start in the running game and their lack of commitment to the run. At the forefront of the discussion has been starting back DeMarco Murray, who had only 12 carries for 25 yards Sunday against Kansas City. But Murray said Friday he's not worried about the lack of touches. "I'm definitely not frustrated," Murray said. "I'm fine. I'm fine." ... DE DeMarcus Ware was limited in practice all week after suffering a neck stinger Sunday against Kansas City but will play against St. Louis on Sunday. ... Starting CB Morris Claiborne, who was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday while managing his dislocated left shoulder injury, fully participated in practice Friday and is expected to play against the Rams. ... LB Ernie Sims has been ruled out for Sunday's game against St. Louis. He also didn't play last week at Kansas City because of a groin injury.Follow Brandon George on Twitter at @DMN_George. MORE COWBOYS NEWS dallas-cowboys-cb-orlando-scandrick-vs-st-louis-rams-wr-tavon-austin.html/">Matchup to watch: Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick vs. St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin Could Dez Bryant get 20-25 targets in a game? Jason Garrett: 'If the opportunities present themselves' DE DeMarcus Ware poised to etch his name atop the Cowboys all-time sacks list Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant: 'I can roll'; My sore back is 'nothing major'