Fifty million, one hundred thousand dollars, that is the total amount of money the Dallas Cowboys offered Brandon Carr in return for five seasons of his services. That is a lot of money, but well worth it for a cornerback that shuts down one side of the playing surface. That is not the player that the team got; they got a good corner who is in the upper half of the starting players at his position. The return on Mr. Jones' investment clearly has not been what we anticipated, but are fans grading the veteran defensive back more harshly than his efforts would justify?
It seems like the team would say yes.
The truth is that Jason Garrett likes a lot of what he gets out of his veteran cornerback. In a lot of ways Carr is that Right Kind of Guy that the coach wants to build his team around. He gives the team everything he has on the field, he is a leader in the locker room, and he strives to get better with each passing day.
"[Carr], like everyone on our defense, we would like them to be more impactful, more productive. We need to take the ball away more. Two years we were among the best teams in the NFL doing that. ... Brandon has to improve but everybody across our defense has to improve. He has been a steady player for us. He has been a productive player for us at times. It's a valuable position. And he has done a good job covering guys at very challenging spot throughout his time with the Cowboys. Last year he dealt with an injury, a shoulder. He dealt with it throughout the year. So at times, he probably wasn't playing his best. But he was out there. He was a guy who showed up every day, who showed up every week. We feel good about what he is all about." - Jason Garrett
Brandon's only sin, and one that keeps damning him in the eyes of fans is that he is not the shut down playmaking corner that we were led to believe he would be.
Are the Cowboys happy with what they are receiving from Brandon? The answer to that is obviously a resounding 'NO!' They are wanting turnovers, and Carr has gone two seasons without an interception. Ten million dollar a year corners are expected to deliver picks on a somewhat frequent basis. The Cowboys have not been shy about saying that they want more production in this area and they have openly pursued players in free agency who they believe will give them what they want.
Regardless, they also want Brandon Carr around as well. What they don't want is to be trapped into giving him the kind of money that they are currently paying. The team does have options, which my colleague Michael Sisemore detailed in a earlier post. There is a saying that you can never have enough corners, and as much as fans may hate to admit is, Carr is fairly danged good at what he does. He may not be a playmaker for the defense but he is far from a liability.
"You can't have enough cover guys in this league. There are a lot of really good quarterbacks in this league. There are a lot of really good receivers. Offenses challenge you a lot of different ways in the passing game. You need a lot of guys out there covering these guys. It's always been a position that we've valued." - Jason Garrett
Much of the negativity directed at Brandon Carr revolves around the fact that we were oversold on what the team was getting and that he is overpaid for what he brings to the table. You cannot blame the man for getting every dime that he can for his services. From my perspective, it looks like maybe Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett were over sold as well by a defensive coordinator who was desperately looking for cornerbacks that might make him look better than he actually was.
Just because the car salesman talked up a Buick like it was a Cadillac doesn't make the Buick a bad car. It is still a couple steps up from basic transportation. The only problem comes in when you are paying a Caddy price for what you receive. You should not blame that on the Carr. That is on the salesman and the buyer.