Once the 2012 NFL off-season began, the Dallas Cowboys wasted no time in signing prize free agent cornerback Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million contract. The Cowboys’ secondary has been horrendous in recent years and cornerback was one of the team’s weakest positions. Carr is definitely an upgrade there, but expectations for the Cowboys’ newest star are higher than ever. However, Carr has not only accepted that, but he’s embraced and welcomed it as a challenge.
“On the field I have to elevate my game, take it to the next level,” Carr said. “That was already my goal before I signed with the Cowboys.”
Asked about the pressure of being such a highly-paid free agent prize for America’s Team, Carr didn’t hesitate.
“No pressure,” Carr said. “Continue to go out there, have fun. I’ve been playing this game since the fourth grade, so I’m going to continue to do what I’ve been doing.”
Since the Cowboys’ OTAs began on Tuesday, Carr has started playing the left cornerback position, the opposite side on which he played for the Kansas City Chiefs the last four years. The move was expected after Dallas released Terence Newman and drafted Morris Claiborne this off-season. Newman played the left side while fellow starter Mike Jenkins manned the right and with Jenkins still on the roster competing for a starting spot with Claiborne, that leaves the left side to the new kid on the block with the deep pockets.
“It is different. I’m not going to say that it’s not,” Carr said. “Just from the standpoint of your muscle memory on the right side, it’s different. The mechanics and things like that. Today was better than yesterday, so hopefully tomorrow will be better than today.”
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has no doubt Carr can play the left side, saying that wasn’t even a consideration in the entire process of bringing the player to Dallas. Claiborne is expected to take over the starting spot on the right side by season’s end, at which point Jenkins will be relegated to No. 3 duties. If Carr, Claiborne and Jenkins all play as well as expected and Orlando Scandrick finally lives up to his big, new contract, Dallas will have one of the best cornerback groups in the NFL. However, that “if” is a big one and will very likely define the Cowboys’ 2012 season.