- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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The 2014 season has to be better for Brandon Carr.
It almost demands it.
Last season, Carr finished with three interceptions and seven pass breakups. He was beaten up in Detroit by Calvin Johnson where he allowed 10 passes for 204 yards and a stiff arm to the chest.
Carr did have his moments, but they were early in the season and it appeared he played with less confidence as the season progressed.
That can’t happen again in 2014 for a number of reasons.
For one thing, Carr is paid like a man expected to shut receivers down. It’s an impossible task because offenses have the advantages over defenses and an inconsistent pass rush placed too much pressure on men like Carr to hold receivers.
However, the money he makes in comparison to his peers has the Cowboys looking for more out of him.
Carr’s has the second-highest average salary at his position at $10.02 million, behind only Darrelle Revis’ $16 million.
Carr’s cap value of $12.2 million is the highest in the NFL at his position. His cap value is higher than Jonathan Joseph ($11.2 million), Brandon Flowers ($10.5 million) and Lardarius Webb ($10.5 million).
Is Carr better than them?
Some days he is, but with coach Jason Garrett entering a make-or-break season, he needs veteran players to produce more than ever.
“We have a lot of confidence in him. He plays very well,” Garrett said. “He’s had a couple of games he certainly would have liked to have played better in, but again, we evaluate what we did as a defensive staff in some of those games and how we could have put him in a better situation. He’ll learn and grow from all of those experiences. He’s the right kind of guy. He cares a great deal about getting better.”
Carr is a man corner that’s been asked to play zone coverage at times. That’s not his game and if the Cowboys can put him in favorable positions, meaning more man coverage, making plays will occur.