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Cowboys believe Brandon Carr is better than you think

IRVING, Texas -- Brandon Carr is still standing.

First, the Dallas Cowboys brought in Nolan Carroll for a free-agent visit but had health concerns regarding him. He ended up re-signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. Then the Cowboys brought in Leon Hall for a visit, but there are health worries there too.

The strangest saga involved Patrick Robinson. The Cowboys thought they had a deal agreed upon then were informed Robinson had a different agent upon his visit to Valley Ranch. He then met with the Indianapolis Colts and signed with them.

That the Cowboys did not sign any of these cornerbacks has some alarmed that their favorite team has lost their luster. However, would signing any of these three severely impact Super Bowl odds?

The biggest winner in this is Carr. Even if the Cowboys had signed Carroll, Hall or Robinson, it was no given Carr would have been jettisoned.

The Cowboys want Carr to re-work his contract, which calls for him to make $9.1 million this year. There have been talks with his agent, Ben Dogra. Determining Carr's worth on the open market is a sticking point. With the way deals have come down across the league so far, Carr is in the $5 million to $6 million range.

The Cowboys know a team would sign him to a deal quickly. That is why they didn't press the pay cut last year. They also know they don't have a replacement for him yet and it was no guarantee those aforementioned corners would have replaced him.

Here's what Jason Garrett had to say from the owners meetings when asked if the visits with Carroll, Hall and Robinson were in relation to Carr:

"I think you have to be careful about making those assessments. The biggest thing we're trying to do is help our football team. We've tried to target some different guys and, again, we want to be disciplined throughout the process. You get a chance to bring players in and evaluate them and see if they fit, see if they fit for a lot of different reasons. You get to know them as people. You continue your evaluation of them as players. You evaluate how old they are, what their medical is, all the different things that go into signing a player. You can't have enough cover guys in this league. There are a lot of really good quarterbacks in this league. There are a lot of really good receivers. Offenses challenge you a lot of different ways in the passing game. You need a lot of guys out there covering these guys. It's always been a position that we've valued."

Garrett continued: "We drafted Mo Claiborne. We signed Brandon Carr. We have Orlando Scandrick, we believe it's a really important, valuable position on your football team. In order to play good defense you have to have good cover guys. We're always evaluating these guys to see if we can bring someone in to help us and if we are able to do that here over the course of free agency we'll assess our team, evaluate our team and see what the next best decisions are."

For those who don't know, Carr doesn't have an interception since Thanksgiving 2013, a span of 36 games. It all comes down to this: The Cowboys believe Carr is better than you think.

Garrett called him a "good" cover guy. The problem is the five-year, $50 million deal he received was for him to be a "great" cover guy. That hasn't happened and executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team knew at the time of the signing they were taking a chance.

"He, like everyone on our defense, we would like them to be more impactful, more productive," Garrett said. "We need to take the ball away more. Two years we were among the best teams in the NFL doing that. Last year we took a big step back. So as an organization you have to look at ways to improve in that area. Brandon has to improve but everybody across our defense has to improve. He has been a steady player for us. He has been a productive player for us at times. It's a valuable position. And he has done a good job covering guys at very challenging spot throughout his time with the Cowboys. Last year he dealt with an injury, a shoulder. He dealt with it throughout the year. So at times, he probably wasn't playing his best. But he was out there. He was a guy who showed up every day, who showed up every week.

"We feel good about what he is all about."