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Brandon Carr's Football World Interrupted By the Reality of Death

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Frank Heinz, NBC DFW
    Brandon Carr talking with NBC Sports' Michele Tafoya.

    With the Cowboys mired in an 8-8 rut and every training-camp practice scrutinized as it were an entire regular season, it’s easy sometimes to forget.

    To forget that the players with the star on the side of their helmets are humans, too.

    We got a grim reminder of that Thursday with the news that cornerback Brandon Carr’s mother passed away in Michigan. Carr is the $50 million free agent who has underperformed and hasn’t become the elite, shut-down corner the Cowboys hoped for. None of that matters right now.

    There’s plenty of time for football. Now is for family.

    Kathy Robinson Carr had been fighting that evil bastard known as cancer for years. As many do, she finally lost. Instead of accompanying the Cowboys to camp, Carr went home to Flint, Michigan to be by her side.

    The Cowboys should, and apparently will, give Carr as much grieving time as he needs.

    “She apparently is a very, very strong lady because she’s been fighting that for at least a couple of years and Brandon has done a great job being supportive of her and his family and still focusing on what he needs to focus on,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett told the media in Oxnard on Thursday afternoon. “That’s why he didn’t come out to training camp right from the start. Everyone felt like it was close to that time, so he’s been spending time with his family.”

    Last year safety J.J. Wilcox lost his mother during camp and cornerback Morris Claiborne lost his father during the season.

    I’ve taken a lot of heat for my stance that professional athletes shouldn’t miss games to attend the births of their children. But death is a far different animal that life.

    There’s plenty of time to say hello. But we only get one chance to say goodbye.

    Take your time, Brandon Carr. Pre-season football can wait.

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.