IRVING, Texas -- Megatron is a 6-foot-5, 236-pound measuring stick for cornerback Brandon Carr.
Carr has been spectacular while shadowing No. 1 receivers during the Dallas Cowboys' two-game winning streak. He held Washington’s Pierre Garcon to six catches for 69 yards despite being targeted 15 times. He shut down Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson, who had only three catches for 21 yards.
Detroit’s Calvin Johnson represents a much bigger challenge, figuratively and literally. It’s a chance for Carr, who is in the second season of a five-year, $50 million contract, to prove that he’s a Pro Bowl-caliber cornerback.
“It’s a big step,” said Carr, a Flint, Mich., native who will have many friends and family members in the Ford Field stands Sunday. “I love the challenge, man. I’ve been saying that for a long time. These are the games that you’re in the backyard the last drive of the game and it’s you versus whoever the top receiver is growing up as a kid. I’ve got little nephews who look up to this guy. He’s an idol to them.
“I respect him, but at the same time, I’m eager to go out there and mix it up with him.”
The Cowboys started using Carr predominantly against the opponent’s No. 1 receivers in the Week 5 loss to the Denver Broncos. His performance didn’t get much attention because Peyton Manning had so much success throwing elsewhere, but Carr did a solid job against Demaryius Thomas, holding him to five catches for 57 yards.
Carr built on that the past two weeks and is arguably playing the best football of his six-year career. According to ProFootballFocus.com, opponents are completing only 50 percent of their passes and have a passer rating of 60.9 when targeting Carr this season.
“You want to hold that throne as the top dog out there on the island,” Carr said. “I’ve still got some work to do, which is fine, but I’m enjoying every moment of it.”
Carr is ready for his biggest challenge yet.