Dallas Cowboys: Jovan Belcher

Brandon Carr playing with emotion

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
10:20
AM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas -- These are conversations Brandon Carr wishes weren't one sided, but he finds himself having them during the course of every day.

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Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr talks about his key interception in overtime and playing with a heavy heart.

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He will say hello to Kasandra Perkins, remembering her smiling face.

He will say hello to Jovan Belcher, his former Kansas City teammate, who shot and killed Perkins and then himself three weeks ago.

And he will say hello to Jerry Brown, his teammate with the Cowboys for only a few weeks before Brown died in a car accident.

With overtime against the Pittsburgh Steelers about to begin Sunday at Cowboys Stadium, Carr talked to Brown again.

"I'm going to make a play for you," Carr said, looking at Brown's No. 53 jersey as he made his way onto the field.

Oh, did Carr make a play. Maybe the biggest play of a Cowboys' season that might not end as soon as many people had thought.

On the second play of overtime, Carr intercepted Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and returned the ball to the Steelers' 1. Two plays later, Dan Bailey made a 21-yard field goal for the Cowboys' 27-24 win that put them in a tie for first place in the NFC East with two games to play.

As Carr made his way back to the bench after his interception, he placed the ball next to Brown's jersey.

"Crazy, huh?" Carr said.

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IRVING, Texas – When Jason Garrett talked to the Cowboys Saturday night at their team hotel, he brought up the tragic incident in Kansas City where linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered his girlfriend took his own life earlier that day, according to police.

Garrett repeated a message he has delivered to the players multiple times since becoming the Cowboys coach.

“The most important thing they’ll ever hear me say is this: If you ever have anything going on in life, anything, anything at all, tell us, tell me, tell your position coach, tell the strength coach, tell (Dr. Jacqualene Stephens, mental health consultant), tell (director of player development) Bryan Wansley, tell anybody, just tell them, and we’ll help you,” Garrett said. “We have so many different resources that can help you. If we can’t directly help you, we’ll point you in the direction of somebody who can, whatever it is.

"Literally, I’ll get on my hands and knees and beg you to do this because it’s the most important thing there is and there’s no issue you’ll have in your life we can’t somehow solve in some way and some way may it better.

“I just say that from the bottom of my heart because you never know what guys are going through. You let them know they have a place to turn. It’s a real tragedy there and you just want to make sure you do everything you can to make sure something like that doesn’t happen here and to make them realize we have resources to help.”

Cornerback Brandon Carr was a teammate of Belcher’s in Kansas City and said after Sunday’s game he had a difficult time dealing with the news. Garrett said Carr handled the situation as well as he could.

In the tough-guy world of professional football, Garrett does not believe players should be wary of coming forward for help.

“The other part of it is there’s no judgment involved,” Garrett said. “We’re mot judging you. We’re helping you. We’re here to help. We’ve got a lot of resources to help. We’ve got professional people who are experts in their area to help you. Everybody’s got my cell phone number. They’ve got all the position coaches’ cell phone numbers. Players watch out for other players. If you see something that doesn’t look right or feel right, because you never know what some guys might have. The feeling is, ‘I’ve got to handle it myself. I don’t want somebody to now.’ Somehow, some way we’ve got to break through that.”
ARLINGTON, Texas --At the end of the evening, Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr was trying to get dressed and put his thoughts together.

He played in a NFL game on Sunday night where his team defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-33. Carr was able to use the three and half hours of work as a distraction from the real world.

His former teammate with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jovan Belcher, had killed himself and his girlfriend on Saturday.

"I guess this was my first time dealing with a situation like this and still trying to keep my poise and go out there and put on a show in front of millions of people," said Carr, who played with Belcher for three seasons on the Chiefs. "It's been an exhausting two days."

For Carr it wasn't so much he knew Belcher, he knew the girlfriend too, Kasandra M. Perkins. Belcher was a rookie when he met Carr, who was entering his second year in the league, in 2009. Carr still has friends on the Chiefs team. He reached out to them by phone the last 48 hours offering support and trying to find answers.

According to authorities in Kansas City, Belcher shot his girlfriend multiple times at a residence near Arrowhead Stadium, where the Chiefs play. Belcher then drove to the team's practice facility and turned the gun on himself in front of coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.

The NFL is such a small fraternity where players don't forget each other. Ever.

"I knew him and Kasandra," Carr said. "That was my family, Kansas city was my family before I got here. I'm still close with a lot of those guys there. The whole situation is just shocking. It's unexpected. Out of the blue. You automatically want to ask why, but all I've been doing is praying and asking God to be there for the families that are affected by this and certain people are affected by the incident."

In the NFL, the game moves on with you or without you regardless of how hurt you are from an emotional standpoint. It's a harsh world we live in, but there are times you must step back and cherish what you have.

Carr was trying to do that on Sunday night after his former teammates did in the afternoon. The Chiefs won their first home game of the season, 27-21, over the Carolina Panthers. It was an emotional game for the Chiefs, who had to deal with losing a young teammate and trying to support the families of those affected. As the Chiefs move forward with their lives, there's a young girl, 3-month-old girl, Zoey, who is left an orphan because of this tragedy.

"We got to focus," Carr said. "We knew it was going to be tough (Sunday). You (just) got to go out there."

Carr was standing near his locker at Cowboys Stadium trying to remember the last time he talked Belcher. He was racking his brain but couldn't remember. He was rambling in a quiet locker room because he was trying to make sense of it all. Maybe you can't make sense of it sometimes.

"It caught everybody off guard," he said. "It's a eye opener. A lot of issues that we deal with."

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