When the Dallas Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million deal last offseason, fans of America’s Team rejoiced because they were finally going to get a legit No. 1 cornerback. Carr didn’t make a ton of flashy plays and didn’t record many style points in 2012, but he was solid in his first season with his favorite team under Rob Ryan. Now with a simplified defense and a year of Cowboys lifestyle under his belt, Carr should have a superb year in 2013.
Carr recorded “only” 53 tackles and three interceptions in 2012, which seems low to the average football fan, but his individual numbers against opposing quarterbacks tell the real story. Carr was targeted 87 times in 2012 and he allowed 51 of those passes to be completed for a total of 644 yards. Those numbers aren’t record-breaking, but they’re solid, a word used by many to describe Carr’s 2012 campaign.
The Cowboys’ new defense mentioned above will certainly play a part in Carr improving in his second season in Dallas. New defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin employs the 4-3 base defense with the Tamp 2 coverage scheme. That means Carr’s assignments and general responsibility will be easier, especially considering his skill set. Carr has been described by many as a great “outside cover corner,” which is an accurate assessment.
In the Tampa 2 scheme, Carr will have safety help behind him, so he’ll primarily be responsible for defending the sideline from roughly 10-20 yards off the line of scrimmage. This is his sweet spot, so he’s set up for tremendous success in this system as his physical style will allow him to dictate opposing receivers’ movement in the small area of the field for which he’s responsible.
However, Carr can’t simply rely on the new scheme to make him successful in 2013. Although he was good in 2012, he’ll have to be noticeably better to those who don’t see the true value of his play, which includes both fans and team owner/general manager Jerry Jones. That’s a tough task, but the $50 million man is up for the challenge.