Rule emphasis has Brandon Carr on edge

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr is looking forward to making his preseason debut Saturday against the Miami Dolphins. He’s not so sure he’s looking forward to seeing the officials.

Through three preseason weeks, officials are calling on average 23.7 penalties per game. There has been a greater emphasis on defensive holding, illegal contact and illegal use of hands penalties. So far there have been 104 defensive holding penalties, 70 illegal use of hands and 55 illegal contact penalties.

“I’m going to find out Saturday how hard it really is,” Carr said. “I don’t know, I might have to break some habits of just playing physical and aggressive down the field but the name of the game is you’ve got to be able to adapt to it. Rules are rules.”

In two preseason games the Cowboys have been flagged for defensive holding eight times. They have had one illegal use of hands penalty on defense and one illegal contact flag. In the 2013 regular season they had 12 defensive holding penalties, three illegal use of hands flags on defense and one illegal contact penalty.

The thought from some teams is that once the regular season starts officials will be more lax.

“I hope [it’s not the same in the regular season],” Carr said. “It’s going to be some long football games. You’re going to have to watch a game for four hours.”