When free agency approached, Cowboys
fans found themselves wondering how the team would spend the off-season addressing the play at the cornerback position. The two most common names popping up were those of Cortland Finnegan
(Ex-Titan) and Brandon Carr
A common theme among fans was the fact that they wanted an upgrade, and that they seemed to lean towards the bigger name known to them: Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan is a fine corner, and plays the position well. The problem surrounding Finnegan was the character he brought with his play. Was he worth the issues?
Blogger Bob Sturm posted a two piece article making cases for each man, and why the Cowboys should or shouldn’t go after them. In his final analysis, he wrote:
"In my mind, after watching them both carefully, I give the edge to Carr for 3 reasons. His age (2 years younger), his size, and his superior cover skills in a press cover situation against another team’s top wide out. Carr does not tackle or blitz like Finnegan, and he also does not possess those leadership intangibles. Of course, he will never get ejected for punching a player, either, if history is our guide. I love Finnegan’s physical play, but I wonder if you can give a guy who plays like "every game is his last" can hold up physically at that size for 5 years at big money, too.
Either player will be a big acquisition that will improve this defense as the team moves on from Newman. I would think the Cowboys will negotiate with both to attempt to keep the prices in check by leveraging each against the other. But, if forced to choose, I would prefer to play even a little more to get the bigger Brandon Carr.
The Cowboys would eventually go on, as soon as free agency started, and make Brandon Carr their number one target in free agency. They contacted him and his agent immediately, arranging an immediate meeting as soon as the NFL rules allowed.
Finally after a grueling 24 hours for Cowboys fans, Adam Schefter announced that Carr and the Cowboys had come to a 5 year, $50 million dollar deal to bring the young corner to Dallas.
Now, after his first season donning the star, we can begin to compare the two during their first season on their new teams.
So which corner had the better year? Here are their final numbers of the 2012 NFL Season:
CARR: 1043 snaps, 51 receptions, 87 targets, 58.6% comp, 644 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 8 PDs and a QB Rating of 78.9
FINNEGAN: 1031 snaps, 77 receptions, 105 targets, 73.3% comp, 747 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 3 PDs and a QB Rating of 80.9
After the first year, it seems as though either guy would’ve been a nice acquisition, but much to the Cowboys’ pleasure they made out with the better corner in 2012.
Carr was brought in to update the position formerly held by Terence Newman
(now with the Bengals
So what do Carr’s numbers look like compared to Newman’s 2011 numbers?
2012 // CARR: 1043 snaps, 51 receptions, 87 targets, 58.6% comp, 644 yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs, 8 PDs and a QB Rating of 78.9
2011 // NEWMAN: 828 snaps, 49 receptions, 78 targets, 62.8% comp, 797 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs, 5 PDs and a QB Rating of 88.5
In both instances, Carr vs Finnegan & Carr vs Newman, the Cowboys made the right choice.
Though Carr wasn’t as lucky as Finnegan, he had the pleasure of sticking with a coach who was familiar to him as well as facing a division with weaker QBs than the NFCE, Carr had a very good season for a player on a new team in a new system.
I feel that Cowboys fans will be happy with his addition for years to come.
Statistical information provided by PFF.
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