J. J. Wilcox

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J. J. Wilcox
refer to caption
Wilcox in 2015
No. 27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Position: Free safety
Personal information
Date of birth: (1991-02-14) February 14, 1991 (age 26)
Place of birth: Cairo, Georgia
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school: Cairo (GA)
College: Georgia Southern
NFL Draft: 2013 / Round: 3 / Pick: 80
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016
Total tackles: 214
Interceptions: 5
Passes deflections: 15
Forced fumbles: 1
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

James Edward "J. J." Wilcox, Jr. (born February 14, 1991) is an American football safety for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia Southern University.

Early years[edit]

Wilcox was born in Cairo, Georgia. He attended Cairo High School, and played high school football for the Cairo Syrupmakers. He was a first-team all-region and first-team all-area selection at wide receiver, helping the Cairo Syrupmakers win the 2008 state championship.

He recorded 22 catches for 400 yards and five touchdowns, and was also a standout on defense, recording 77 tackles, three forced fumbles and one interception his senior year.

College career[edit]

Wilcox attended Georgia Southern University, where he played for the Georgia Southern Eagles football team from 2009 to 2012. He started off his career as a wide receiver, before moving to safety as a senior.

He started in 13 of Georgia Southern's 14 games, and finished second on the team with 88 tackles, two interceptions and three pass break ups. He also returned 31 kicks for 780 yards and averaged 25.2 yards per kickoff return.

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40‑yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20‑ss 3‑cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 0 in
(1.83 m)
213 lb
(97 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.57 s 4.09 s 7.02 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
17 reps
All values from NFL Combine


Dallas Cowboys[edit]


Wilcox was selected by the Dallas Cowboys in the third round (80th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.[2] Even though coming out of college he had only played safety for one year, the Cowboys were going to name him the starter at free safety on the day that his mother died. The two weeks he took to deal with his personal loss slowed his progress and the team decided to name veteran Will Allen the starter instead.[3]

He would eventually pass Allen on the depth chart and start five consecutive games, until suffering a right sprained knee in practice, that forced him to miss 3 games and being replaced by rookie Jeff Heath. He finished the year in a reserve role with 44 tackles, 6 special teams tackles and one pass defensed.


The Cowboys showed confidence in Wilcox by not drafting or signing a free agent safety to compete with him. He would start 16 games and register 89 tackles (fourth on the team), 3 interceptions, 4 passes defensed, one forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries.

On week 15 he recorded his second interception of the year and a forced fumble that were key in a 35-24 against the divisional rivals Philadelphia Eagles. The next week against the Indianapolis Colts, he intercepted an Andrew Luck pass and returned it 46 yards at the end of the half, which contributed to 42-7 win and to qualify Dallas to the playoffs.


Wilcox struggled in the season opener against the Washington Redskins in pass coverage and eventually lost his starting safety position to rookie Byron Jones.[4] He registered 69 tackles (one for loss), 8 special teams tackles (tied for fourth on the team), one interception (returned for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles) , 3 passes defensed and one fumble recovery.

His highlight of the year was a vicious hit he put on wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in week one, that forced an incompletion, sent Beckham to the sideline to recover and broke Wilcox's nose.[5]


Although there were some news in the media that he was at risk of not making the team, he remained on the roster as a backup safety and a core special teams player. During the season, he was able to play more under control than in previous years, and he also provided a valuable physical presence in the secondary.

He returned to the starting lineup against the Cleveland Browns in place of an injured Barry Church. He suffered a thigh contusion in the week 12 contest against the Washington Redskins and had to leave the game. He also missed the games against the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He returned to play for the season finale against the Detroit Lions. He appeared in 13 games (4 starts), while posting 45 tackles, one interception and 6 passes defensed.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers[edit]


On March 11, 2017, Wilcox signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[6]


  1. ^ "J.J. Wilcox NFL Combine results". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Cowboys draft safety JJ Wilcox in third round". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Cowboys believe J.J. Wilcox will blossom". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Byron Jones' skill set has put J.J. Wilcox on bench". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cowboys' work on Odell Beckham Jr. shouldn't be overlooked". Retrieved February 19, 2016. 
  6. ^ Smith, Scott (March 11, 2017). "Bucs Add J.J. Wilcox to Secondary". Buccaneers.com. 

External links[edit]