The Dallas Cowboys were confident Brandon Carr was a great player when he was signed to a 5-year, $50.1 million free agent contract this off-season. However, he’s really turned heads during the Cowboys’ OTAs over the past two weeks and he’s drawing some high praise from Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. When asked if Carr is as good as advertised thus far at Valley Ranch, Ryan said he’s been pleasantly surprised by his new cornerback.
“He’s actually better,” Ryan said. “He’s outstanding. I knew he was great, but the guy is special.”
That’s what you want to hear from your defensive mastermind if you’re the Cowboys. This is a team that was horrendous against the pass over the past two seasons, and even that’s a bit of an understatement. The additions of Carr and first-round draft pick Morris Claiborne automatically give the Cowboys one of the bets cornerback tandems in the NFL, especially considering former Pro Bowler Mike Jenkins is still on the roster.
Obviously, Carr was a high-profile free agent prize, but to have a respected defensive coach like Ryan call him special after a week and a half of OTAs is exciting not only for the player, but for the entire organization and fan base as well.
With the Cowboys trading up and taking Claiborne No. 6 overall in April’s draft, he’s been a hot discussion topic lately, which tends to make fans and media members forget about Carr. However, the veteran is simply doing his job to make his team better. So why is Ryan calling him “special?”
“Just because he shuts down everybody,” Ryan said. “He can cover anybody. He’s got long arms, great length and he’s a great person who works his tail off. He takes coaching, and I’m really impressed with him.”
Cowboys fans won’t be impressed with Carr until they see him defend the Cowboy-killer receivers of the NFC East – the Philadelphia Eagles’ DeSean Jackson, the New York Giants’ Victor Cruz and the Washington Redskins’ Santana Moss, although the latter might be out of work this fall. The Dallas faithful watched the former two torch the Cowboys’ secondary last season and account for four of Dallas’ eight losses. Take away a few blown coverages and big plays by those players and the Cowboys are a playoff team.
Carr can do that. ‘How can you be so sure,’ you ask? Ryan said so. He was specifically asked about Carr covering Cruz and didn’t hesitate to express his confidence in his new young star.
“If we need to shut somebody down, or put him on a bigger guy, I’m sure Brandon will be up to the challenge,” Ryan said.
If Ryan says he can do it, then Cowboys fans should believe it. As mentioned, they won’t until they see it, but that’s why we play the game.