IRVING, Texas – While Brandon Carr has been on the wrong end of a few individual plays this year – most notably Odell Beckham's one-handed catch back in late November, never has the veteran cornerback been as criticized during his career than his 2013 meeting with the Lions.
For nearly every play, Carr was matched up against Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who had a career game, hauling in 14 passes for 329 yards, the second-highest receiving output in league history and the most for any four-quarter game.
But Carr said the beauty of football is getting the chance to redeem yourself.
"I look forward to Sundays, period," Carr said. "No matter who the opponent is. Last year, he got the best of us. The good thing about football is you get the chance to do it again. We're back in the same position. There's more at stake. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."
When asked why things will be different this time around, Carr grinned and had a long pause before his calculated answer.
"It's a new year. Different signal caller," Carr said. "There's a lot of things you can throw into the equation."
The signal-caller reference is considered a big factor Sunday, especially considering new defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli actually coached Johnson and the Lions as Detroit's head coach from 2006-08.
Marinelli said Carr is up for the challenge but likely won't be alone in his battle with Megatron.
"I think we're going to be able to maybe give him more help than we did," Marinelli said Friday of Carr. "I feel like Brandon is a terrific corner. He's up for this challenge. But as a staff we have to find ways to help him."
But Marinelli reiterated that he doesn't like to focus on specific matchups and would rather make sure his players are where they're supposed to be.
"It's not about them. It should never be about your opponent," Marinelli said. "Are we doing things right? Rerouting and leverage? I think if you get out of whack with that, I don't think you'll play your best football."
Speaking of that, Carr said he believes the Cowboys are playing their best right now and can only hope it carries over into the postseason.
"We're playing pretty dominant in the month of December," Carr said. "I'm looking forward to some carryover to the playoffs. Guys are clicking on all cylinders. I'm motivated by the simple fact that we're in the playoffs. There's been a long time coming around this way. We try to get over the hump and get to the next round."