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Sunday, September 23, 2012
Brandon Carr sees time at free safety

By Calvin Watkins

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brandon Carr said the last time he played safety was in 2004, when he was a junior at Carman-Ainsworth High School in Flint, Mich.

Since, Carr has played cornerback full-time in college at Grand Valley State and in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, where he started 64 consecutive games, and the Dallas Cowboys for at least three games.

Carr, however, played free safety for several snaps in the Cowboys' 16-10 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. The move this week came as a result of defensive coordinator Rob Ryan feeling the safety position might experience problems due to the health of Gerald Sensabaugh, who missed Sunday's game with a calf injury, and the extended playing time of cornerback Mike Jenkins.

Near the end of Sunday's game, Carr was seen playing a deep safety position, with Orlando Scandrick, Morris Claiborne and Jenkins as the three main corners. Carr was on the field with a mixture of safeties which included Danny McCray and Barry Church -- until the latter suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in the third quarter.

"I think he (Carr) did a great job," Ryan said. "He did what he's supposed to do and he's such a talented guy you can put him anywhere."

The Cowboys have issues at the safety spot. Their starters are hurt and even though Sensabaugh said he expects to play next Monday against the Chicago Bears, there are concerns about what to do long-term at the position.

"I don't know," Ryan said when asked if Carr would move to safety full-time. "We're going to have to look (at it) and do what's best for the team. We're looking to get the best thing we think we can do."

Carr was tested deep less than three times by Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman. One pass resulted in a pass breakup in the second half. It was also just the second time in Carr's career that he finished a game with no tackles. The last time that happened was Dec. 5, 2010, when he played for the Chiefs.

For Carr it doesn't matter if he plays safety again because he'll do it. In practice, Carr got scout-team snaps at free safety to get a feel for what the position entails.

"I was for it," Carr said. "Whatever it takes coming in they talked about if it comes down to it, they got me back there. I was working my butt off in practice and I was working with the scout team back there just to get a feel for how it is because it is different. At corner, you have to be quick and it's fast and physical, whereas safety you're having to read the quarterback, getting a jump, trying to control the defense and things like that.

"I just had to buckle down today and play my hardest at safety like I do at corner."