Nolan Carroll isn’t a fan favorite of many. After spending the last three seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, there hasn’t been much to like about him. He’s been the enemy. But when the Cowboys signed him to a three-year, $10 million deal in March, it was time to change our tune. He’s one of the good guys now.
However, that sentiment may be in question now as he’s already making news in Dallas. And not the good kind. Early Monday morning, Carroll was arrested for on a charge of suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Carroll has been somewhat of an afterthought when it comes to how a lot of fans see the cornerback depth shaping up. With three draft picks invested in that position, a lot of people are anxious to see the new guys in action. That time will come, but the rookies won’t just be thrown into action. Last week in OTA’s, Carroll was part of the starting cornerback group alongside Orlando Scandrick and Anthony Brown. The Cowboys coaches still see Carroll as a part of this group despite the young talent they have brought on board.
Carroll’s popularity has taken a hit due to a dismal 2016 season where Cowboys fans had a front row seat of watching him get beat for touchdowns by Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams. The free agent signing doesn’t actually generate a lot of excitement. But are fans being too hard on him? The Eagles secondary was a mess last year so it’s hard to be too critical of his performance.
Our own BTB member CowboyWay brought up some interesting points mentioning Carroll in a darkhorse series from his Fanpost, including how a change of scenery could very easily help him get back to playing good football.
Coach Joe Baker finally got the chance to oversee the secondary unit being promoted to Secondary Coach following Jerome Henderson who couldn’t really reach that unit. Baker along with new safeties coach Greg Jackson helped improve the secondary play by A LOT.
Players we couldn’t wait to get rid of started having their best years in a while or ever. CB specific, Claiborne and Carr had their best years in a long time and Baker helped the development and continued development of 6th round stand out Anthony Brown.
Baker getting his hands on an athletic, physical CB that can play press man or zone could improve his play as he has done with guys who didn’t even fit the pistol.
Carroll wont be a top CB no, but could he be a steady veteran presence that can matchup all over the place? Yea. With such a young unit, having a guy like Carroll I think is important. We all want the young bucks Awuzie, Brown, Lewis to rise up and make the veterans obsolete. But we all also know that is gonna take some time. Keeping Carrol around could make the transition to the young group a little easier.
CowboyWay makes a good point. Is it a coincidence that Carr, Claiborne, and sixth-round pick Anthony Brown all played so well? With good coaching, maybe Carroll can bring some quality corner play to Dallas as well?
Some fans will start calling for his release. They will want Jason Garrett to send a message with a guy they didn’t want on the team in the first place. This isn’t going to happen. While this incident doesn’t help Carroll get off on the right foot in Dallas, he’ll have a chance to regroup and get focused on football. Carroll would be a $3 M dead money hit to cut ties with him. He’ll cost $2 M against the 2017 cap to keep him. Considering the investment, Carroll will be given a little latitude and won’t be sent packing. Plus, after the loss of both Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne, the Cowboys need a veteran corner to help bridge the development of their future corners. He’s still an important piece for this defense.