Brandon Carr was signed in the offseason to be a game-changing cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys and Rob Ryan's defense, but so far in his first season in Dallas he's been fairly quiet.
In Sunday's win over the Bengals, Carr was no different than any of his teammates, who were playing with the knowledge that their teammate, Josh Brent, was sitting in jail facing charges of intoxicated manslaughter for the death of their other teammate, Jerry Brown, who was a linebacker on the Cowboys' practice squad and Brent's longtime friend from their college days.
But no one's heart could've been as heavy as Carr's, who at this time last week was dealing with the realization that his former Kansas City Chiefs teammate, Jovan Belcher, had murdered his fiancee and then killed himself last Saturday.
In fact, it was while he was at Kasandra Perkins' funeral that Cowboys teammate Barry Church called Carr to tell him about Brent and Brown.
"I wasn't ready for that," Carr said after Sunday's game. "I wasn't expecting it. I didn't believe it, so I called him back again and said, 'What did you just say to me?'"
Not only was Carr friends with Belcher, but also with Perkins, who as ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon reported had recently visited Carr and his fiancee in Dallas just weeks ago. Then came the Brent and Brown incident. A whirlwind of emotions, for sure, and Carr thrived off it on Sunday after flying to Cincinnati on Saturday night on Jerry Jones' private jet.
The cornerback had his best game of the season, holding Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, one of the best in the league, to 44 yards on three grabs. He also picked up a huge interception and make a big return to set up a touchdown during the Cowboys' comeback from a nine-point deficit en route to their 20-19 win.
There's no question Carr's performance, with so much else seemingly on his mind, rubbed off on the rest of the organization, including his head coach.
"He is a special guy. He really is," Jason Garrett said after the game. "That is one of the reasons — besides his ability as a player — we thought [it] was important to sign him in free agency. We really like him a lot as a person.
"He is the right kind of guy to build your team around."