IRVING, Texas – Brandon Carr's beginning to accept the fact that he's viewed as more than just a typical solid cornerback after accepting a $50 million contract last offseason.
Carr said he felt like he put too much pressure on himself to live up to the five-year deal early in the 2012 season. After switching locations for the first time in his career and even changing positions occasionally to fill in at safety, it took some time for him to finally relax and start playing the way he had in previous years.
"I got caught up in trying to save the world, so to speak," Carr said Friday on 1310 AM "The Ticket."
He said he began to force things and learned a hard lesson going through a rough patch during the middle of the season, but he was able to "get a reality check" as the season progressed.
Carr led the team with three interceptions, sealing the win against the Steelers with an interception returned near the goal line in overtime. All three of Carr's picks came in the second half of the year.
"Everybody's looking at you, the $50 million man," Carr said. "I had to get used to it, but I accepted that. It's something I grinded my whole life for to get to this point."
Now Carr will have to get used to another change, as he begins to learn the nuances of Monte Kiffin's new defense. Carr said he met with Kiffin, and he could tell immediately the defensive coordinator demanded accountability.
"He makes guys learn the details of the defense," Carr said. "It's all gap control. The Seahawks, that name's been dropped a few times as far as our mentality or look for next year."
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll has a long history with Kiffin, after coaching together in previous NFL stops. Carr studied the Seahawks' secondary and the way the defenders moved and challenged receivers last year, en route to becoming one of the most revered defenses and secondaries in the league. [embedded_ad]
Carr was brought in to Dallas to provide the same kind of affect on the Cowboys' secondary. He said his goal was to get to the level where everyone puts the pressure on him because he feels he can handle it, especially on the team he'd always wished he could play for.
"I grew up wanting to be a Dallas Cowboy," Carr said. "It's the first jersey I had. It's documented with pictures because people don't believe me sometimes."