Brandon Carr has been much maligned ever since the Cowboys brought him in to be there top cornerback via free agency. It was always a role which he was not ideally suited for; Carr is a natural second corner. The switch in duties was not successful and Dallas has finally moved the veteran back to the position where he played in Kansas City. Throughout OTAs Carr has been manning the right corner slot while Mo Claiborne has covered the left side.
According to Carr, it's a different game on the right and left side. The right side you mainly get the split end and you get to use the boundary. On the left side, you have to deal with slot receivers and multiple formations. Most quarterbacks are right handed meaning that more action and passes come to the left cornerback.
If the return to what he does best is successful then Carr might earn a chance to finish out his career while wearing the star. If he can accomplish that it will mean a greatly improved secondary for defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli and good things for the Cowboys as a team.
Carr also stated that moving over to the left side would allow his running mate, Morris Claiborne, to take advantage of his own skillset. It leaves you to wonder if this might have been the plan all along, a plan put on hold due to Mo's issues staying healthy.
Carr brought up Claiborne in the piece detailing his move, so that makes for a smooth segue to our next piece on news.
"He looks good," fellow cornerback Brandon Carr said. "He looks confident. He looks smooth out there. He has an extra edge to him this year. He's really honing in on that left side right now. I'm excited for him."
That is good to hear, but you can excuse Cowboys fans if they are taking this with a grain of salt. We have heard a lot over the past few years but seen very little. Still those who have witnessed Mo during OTAs are talking about the change. Word is that he is sticking to receivers like glue. That is a far cry from his early years. Perhaps it is too early to get excited, but we can hope a little.
After all, that is what the preseason is all about.
If Morris Claiborne stays healthy, he will be easily the #Cowboys best DB. He's in outstanding shape and playing with a lot more confidence.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) June 7, 2016
For more details on Claiborne and the other OTA standouts, listen in on our Podcast with OTA Insider Nuggets featuring Marcus Mosher.
The Pro Bowl linebacker is the heart and soul of the Dallas defense and "managing" him so that he is available throughout the course of the season is a top priority for Marinelli and his staff. Lee underwent a follow up procedure to clean out some issues that remained after his ACL surgery that cost him the 2014 season. It was more of a preventive maintenance thing than anything else, but it did address some things that were bothering the linebacker last season.
The goal was to help insure that the Cowboys defensive leader is on the field for as many games as possible this fall, and according to Lee he is right on track, as the title of Phillips article indicates.
“I feel great physically,” said Lee, who is continuing to rehab his knee with the athletic training staff. “I’m getting better each week.“
Said head coach Jason Garrett: “He’s doing great. He has not been involved practicing football with us but his rehab has been outstanding. And typical Sean, he’s in here early, he stays late. He’s getting himself right.”
Football is not his first love, we know that, but it seems that McClain would prefer to spend the summer with his boys and Jerry considers that his in season contributions have earned the former Alabama star that right.
"It's fair to everybody to understand that Rolando's boys, his family lives in Alabama and he doesn't live with them. His former significant other is where they are. His offseason is spent with those boys and that's an understanding we have when he came through the door," Jones said. "He has to be there to spend time with them, and we expect him to compensate for that.”
There are others who might be a little perturbed by his absence, but again I refer you to whose name is at the bottom of the paycheck.
I am not the only BTB staffer thinking D. My colleague, Ryan Ratty, has been digging deep into the film vault and this time he took a look at what Terrell McClain's return will mean up front.
McClain is one of those players that seems to have developed the same bug that has plagued Sean Lee, but he is looking to put those issues behind him and become a significant part of the rotation on the interior of the Dallas defensive front. If he can do that, Terrell can be an impact maker for the team, as Ryan shows us via film clips.
Having McClain back could pay off big dividends for the Cowboys. Each defensive lineman improves with the coaching of Rod Marinelli and Leon Lett. If injury doesn't get in his way, it's going to be interesting to see what McClain can fully develop into.