DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
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Carr Preparing For Strength Of Boldin, Speed Of Smith
IRVING, Texas – Cornerback Brandon Carr doesn’t think any receiver in the NFL matches the skill set and strength of Baltimore wideout Anquan Boldin.
Carr and the Cowboys’ secondary, which hasn’t intercepted a pass this season, will be presented with the challenge of guarding one of the game’s tougher receivers in Boldin and one of the fastest receivers in Torrey Smith when they travel to Baltimore this weekend.
Carr said Boldin’s demeanor as a nasty receiver is immediately evident on film. He’s an athlete who “doesn’t mind mixing it up” with defensive backs and is as tough to bring down as any player in the game once the ball in his hands.
“This will be a good test for us,” Carr said. “You have him, the physical receiver, and Torrey Smith, a guy who can stretch the field. You’ve kind of got the best of both worlds over there. You know, it’s a great challenge for us.”
Boldin and Smith are both in the league’s top 25 in receiving yards. Smith leads the Ravens with 370 receiving yards, three touchdowns and seven catches of at least 20 yards.
Carr said Smith is still building chemistry with quarterback Joe Flacco, who isn’t afraid to heave a deep pass and let Smith separate from receivers.
“I see a young guy with a lot of speed that can get downfield and a quarterback that can get the ball to him,” Carr said. “He outruns most defenders, even when they’re head up.”
The Cowboys only interception this year went to linebacker Sean Lee. Carr said the defensive backs should have an opportunity for their first pick this week if Flacco throws the ball down the field to his top receiving threat.
More often than not, though, Smith has come down with the pass. The Eagles are the only team to hold both of the Ravens’ top receivers to fewer than 80 yards apiece and scoreless this season.
But those two aren’t the only players capable of catching passes in the Baltimore offense. Tight end Dennis Pitta has emerged as a prime target for Flacco, while running back Ray Rice has established himself as one of the premier receivers out of the backfield.
“You know they’re going to be physical,” said defensive end Marcus Spears. “They play that way. That’s their style. Big (offensive) line, like they’ve always had. Ray Rice is probably one of the top backs in the league. It’s a lot to defend.”
Kansas City is the only team to stop the entire Ravens offense from scoring a touchdown this year. The Chiefs secondary held Flacco to 13-of-27 passing for 187 yards with one interception and no touchdowns. In addition to containing the receivers, the Chiefs also held Rice to one catch and Pitta to 22 receiving yards.
Carr hasn’t called his old teammates to see how they defended the Ravens yet.
“But that phone call will probably go out today,” he said.