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Position Series: CB Spot Has Depth, Needs Production
With training camp right around the corner, DallasCowboys.com is taking a look at each position group in a 10-part series, continuing today with cornerbacks.
Top of the chart
Carr was probably the most consistent member of the Cowboys’ secondary in 2012, for the simple fact that he was able to play the entire season. The first-year Cowboy played in all 16 games, which was a rare feat for a Dallas secondary that spent much of the 2012 season in the rehab room. The four-year veteran
admittedly struggled early after his free agency move from Kansas City, but Carr regained the form that made him a coveted free agent. He finished last season with 53 total tackles and three interceptions in a secondary that finished in the upper half of the league – 14th – in yards allowed, despite so many injuries. Coming into his sixth season in the league, Carr is tied for the team’s longest NFL tenure, and he’s the only guy on the depth chart who is a proven commodity as a starting cornerback.
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The other six-year player at cornerback is Scandrick, who will be penciled in as the starting nickelback when training camp starts. As one of the many injured members of the Cowboys’ secondary last year, Scandrick’s season ended after the Thanksgiving loss to Washington, which cut his game tally to 11. The 2008 fifth-round pick has spent his entire career with Dallas, so the Cowboys and their fans have quite a clear picture of what he is capable of. That is to say, he was good enough to merit a contract extension in 2011, but he has only worked his way into a starting spot for 19 of 72 games he has played with the team. A consistent season in 2013 could go a long way to keeping some of the younger corners – particularly rookie B.W. Webb – from taking his places on the field.
Still need to know …
How well Claiborne has progressed
The Cowboys’ high-profile draft pick from 2012 had a perfectly adequate rookie season, especially considering cornerback is one of the game’s toughest positions to adapt to. The LSU standout showed flashes of next level ability, and he made his fair share of mistakes. All signs point to continued
improvement, given the way Claiborne has bulked up and taken a more vocal role on the defense. But the fact remains that Claiborne has just 15 NFL starts to his name, and he hasn’t proven much of anything other than that he has the potential to be great. The Cowboys will be counting on increased physicality in their new scheme under Monte Kiffin. Claiborne could go a long way in determining how effective the new defense is, depending on how well he is able to lock down his half of the field.
Don’t forget about …
Webb could also merit a spot here, but the guess here is that nobody’s going to forget about one of this year’s high-profile draft picks. Moore, however, is largely forgotten in the shuffle after he became a late-season addition to the depleted secondary. It says plenty about Moore’s ability that he was able to play sparingly and contribute to a Cowboys’ win against Philadelphia just a few days after he was signed. As has been well-documented, Moore has proven he is capable of making plays in big places, as he swatted away a potential
game-winning touchdown from Lee Evans in the waning seconds of the Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship game in January of 2012. It’s not likely Moore will make a push for a starting spot, but he could factor heavily into the mix for nickel or dime packages, not to mention special teams.