Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Finnegan

Brandon Carr working to get better

August, 8, 2012
OXNARD, Calif. -- Last week, Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said cornerback Brandon Carr was the best player coming out of free agency last spring.

A lot of people in Oxnard are trying to sell the release of Brodney Pool as proof that Barry Church is ready to make an impact, Skin finds that comical and explains why.

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Yes, better than Peyton Manning and Mario Williams.

Carr left Kansas City and signed a five-year $50.1 million deal with the Cowboys. During training camp, Carr has dazzled the coaches and scouts with his excellent press coverage skills and his overall command of the secondary.

During the free agency period, Courtland Finnegan and Carr were the best corners on the market. Carr was thought to be more of an outside corner, in comparison to Finnegan who played the slot more often. The Cowboys wanted an outside corner because Orlando Scandrick is the slot corner for the team.

It would seem Carr might be the answer to the Cowboys' problems at finding consistency at the cornerback position. Whether or not Carr is an elite corner is uncertain.

But if he was, maybe playing in Kansas City, a small television market, hurt his marketability with fans but not among NFL teams.

"I guess (in) Kansas City we really didn’t get too many televised games and we weren’t a household team for the most part," Carr said. "You didn't see us on Sunday night, Monday night games like the Cowboys get of the coverage, eight times out of the year."

Carr has done a good job in shutting down a physical wide receiver such as Dez Bryant. Their battles during practices are great shows. Carr gets in Bryant's grill and challenges him all over the field.

"I guess it could be easy but it's still a work in progress," Carr said. "In Kansas City, each year my goal was to get better and better. My fourth year was the year I actually put it all together which is the most important year, going into a contract year and things like that. But I mean that stuff, it really doesn’t bother me."
When free agency starts on March 13, the Cowboys have targeted two veteran cornerbacks: Kansas City's Brandon Carr and Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan.

Finnegan finished 2011 with one interception and 12 pass breakups. He was also fourth on the team in tackles (95), according to the coaches statistics and he also had one sack and one fumble recovery.

Carr ended his season with four interceptions and 58 total tackles. Carr also had 13 pass breakups.

Cowboys officials can't speak with the agents for both players until the free agency period starts. But as of now the front office has some interest in these veteran players with the hopes of bolstering their secondary.

Terence Newman, Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick are the main corners. Newman, coming off a disappointing 2011 season, might get cut, which saves the Cowboys as much as $6 million against the salary cap. Scandrick struggled and the team views him as a third corner.

Jenkins is coming off shoulder surgery but the team thought he played well in 2011. He enters the 2012 season in the final year of his contract so it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys view him going forward.