Three consecutive weeks Brandon Carr has been tested by being matched up with some of the better pass catchers in the game; three consecutive weeks he has proven himself worthy. To start off his run, Brandon drew the assignment to cover Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos. He held Thomas to five catches and 57 yards during what was an offensive onslaught for both teams. He followed that performance by holding Pierre Garcon, the Washington Redskins top receiver, to six balls for 69 yards, but he saved his best outing so far for DeSean Jackson and the Philadelphia Eagles. On Sunday, DJax was held to just three receptions and a minuscule 21 yards on the day. Let those numbers sink in for just a moment. Over the last three weeks, Brandon Carr has allowed a total of 147 yards receiving to three of the top pass catchers in the NFL, each of whom represents a different type of challenge. It is the type of effort that Dallas expected when they made Carr the prime target during free agency prior to the 2012 season.
"Yeah, he was pretty darn good wasn’t he?" - Monte Kiffen on Brandon Carr's performance against the Eagles
Perhaps the difference is due to Dallas playing more man-to-man coverage in recent weeks; after all, Brandon was brought in to be a press man corner in Rob Ryan's scheme. Let's face it, when Dallas was playing primarily a zone defense, the secondary was getting torched. Now that Kiffen's charges are playing man, they are looking much better. Over the past seven weeks the back end of the Dallas defense has shown more improvement than any other sub-unit on the team. Brandon Carr has set the example for the secondary with his on the field play and his colleagues have followed suit as the Cowboys defense has evolved.
Carr downplays his own impact, giving credit to the defensive guru calling plays from the booth.
"Right now, we’re in a groove with our coverages and with the defense he is calling. As we see more and more looks in this league and we play different teams, of course, you’ve got to adapt and play to your strengths and play to the things that they do out there on the field. So I mean, man to man is what we’re doing right now. We’ll be mixing it all up throughout the whole game. I mean, that’s fine. Whatever they call, we have to go out and execute." - Brandon Carr
While it is true that Monte Kiffin and his coaches have adapted their approach to resolve issues that the defense has been facing, it is also true that the players have to take the field and execute the strategy. That is where Carr is starting to shine. Three weeks in a row, he has taken the field against a top flight wide receiver, and three weeks he has done the job that was assigned to him, just like a $50 million dollar man should.
The Cowboys signed Brandon Carr last off-season to do what he did Sunday. He stopped DeSean Jackson cold.
If Carr keeps playing the way he has over the past few weeks, Jerry Jones is going to get a his money's worth on this investment.