- Todd Archer, ESPN Staff Writer
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Carr saw most of it up close and personal, but he swears his confidence is not in tatters.
“You know what I’ve been through to get here? Just from childhood until now, I’ve been through so much, so many obstacles, struggles, things thrown at me, people saying I couldn’t do this, couldn’t do that,” Carr said. “I just get up each and every day, put my shoes on and go to work. I knew I had a big challenge [Sunday] and I was ready for it. I’m always up for these challenges. This is what you play for. I learned a lot for myself within that game. Some things I could have done differently. Some things I was proud of myself for doing. At the end of the day, I stood in there and I fought and that’s all you can ask for. I’m going to get better as time goes, we’re going to get better as a unit, but it definitely hasn’t shaken my confidence. It might have boosted it. It might sound crazy, but I learn from games like that. It’s time to move on and go on again.”
The Cowboys mixed their coverages on Johnson, according to coach Jason Garrett. Carr followed him all over the field, but they played man-to-man some, mixed in zone, had safety help at other times. Whatever they tried, it did not work, but the Cowboys did not use any extreme measures to slow Johnson, like employing the strategy the New England Patriots used on Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez and not letting him off the line of scrimmage.
“They have other players on their team that we felt like we had to defend as well and certainly we gave Calvin Johnson a ton of attention, immense amount of respect for the guy, we’ve played against him before, we’ve seen him play against other guys and we felt like we had a pretty good matchup with Brandon and we challenged him,” Garrett said. “We gave him some safety help by leaning that way or play cover 2 or reroute at the line of scrimmage or do a combination of those things. He’s a damn good player and there were instances in that game where we had two guys on him, they threw it up anyway and he went up and made the play. He’s that kind of player.”
Carr was able to break up a pass to Johnson that led to a Sean Lee interception, but wishes he was better in situational football against Johnson.
“An awareness of who’s hot, who’s the go-to guy and just different things you have to fight back and find a way to make a play on them, or find a way to get them covered up,” Carr said. “He was hot and they just kept feeding him, which is what you’re supposed to do with your horse. You’re supposed to feed him the ball and target him as many times as they did, and he made a lot of plays for them and kept them in the ballgame and down the stretch he was the one that helped them get the victory.”
IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr did not need to recite what happened Sunday when Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson caught 14 passes for 329 yards.