Brandon Carr Suddenly Playing Like a Shutdown Corner


So this is what $50 million buys you?

Cowboys’ cornerback Brandon Carr was decent last year in the wake of signing that 5-year free-agent contract. Had the interception return for a touchdown in Philly and a game-clinching pick in overtime to beat the Steelers. But this year – in the last two weeks – he’s been what the Cowboys were expecting: A shutdown corner.

Last week against the Redskins, Carr shadowed receiver Pierre Garcon, living in his hip pocket, in limiting Robert Griffin III’s favorite target to six catches for 69 yards and no touchdowns. And yesterday against the Eagles, Carr was at it again helping the Cowboys smother Philly’s high-powered offense by holding DeSean Jackson to three catches for a harmless 21 yards in Dallas’ 17-3 victory.

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Despite playing without DeMarcus Ware, the depleted defensive line created pressure all day on Nick Foles. At the next level, Bruce Carter didn’t get burned on a wheel route down the sideline as he did repeatedly in San Diego, and Sean Lee was, well, Sean Lee. But on the back end is where the Cowboys are showing the biggest improvement from Week 1 to 4-3.

Barry Church had a pick and several open-field tackles. Morris Claiborne prevented an Eagles’ first-half field goal by knocking the ball free from Riley Cooper. And Carr was all over Eagles’ receivers, not letting them run by him and making plays in front of him.

While Orlando Scandrick took his turn on Jackson in the slot, Carr handled him one-on-one to the outside. Result? The Eagles’ fastest weapon had his worst day ever against the Cowboys.

Said defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin of Carr after the game, “Yeah, he was pretty darn good wasn’t he?”

Claiborne struggled early. Carr was only so-so during the team’s 2-3 start. But since surrendering the 414 passing yards and 51 points to Peyton Manning, the secondary has been stellar.

Said Carr to the media, “This is similar to what I envisioned coming to this team.”

Yeah, us too.

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 writes a sports/guy stuff blog at and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.

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