ARLINGTON, Texas –With Denver and Miami over the last four years, wide receiver Brandon Marshall scored at least one touchdown in each of four games against Brandon Carr and the former division rival Kansas City Chiefs.
Both players are in different cities now, with a different role for Carr, and their respective units playing different schemes. But Carr and the Cowboys secondary had no better luck against Marshall than his teams had in previous years. Though he wasn't always in man coverage against Marshall, and occasionally passed him off to safeties, Carr lined up across from the big wide out on essentially every snap.
So he took personally Marshall's seven-catch, 138-yard day, which included a punctuating touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"He got some plays on me," Carr said. "He's a good receiver – hat off to him."
Carr paused at that point in the postgame discussion, shook his head and explained he didn't know what to say, then closed his eyes and let out a loud yell that rattled around the locker room.
This wasn't the game Carr had hoped to give the Cowboys when he signed a $50 million contract with them this offseason.
"I am frustrated, I'm sorry," Carr said. "It's just tough. I have to find a way to get those balls out, especially that deep ball. He made a good play on the ball."
The play in question was one of the most crucial of the game, on a third down early in the fourth quarter, with the Cowboys needing to keep Chicago near the very tip of their field goal range. However, Jay Cutler found Marshall one-on-one up the right sideline against Carr, laid the ball up, and let his huge target go get it for a 30-yard gain. Four plays later, kicker Robbie Gould made it a three-score game.
It was just one of several big plays for Marshall, who also had gains of 31, 25 and 18 in the game, the longest of which being the game-sealing touchdown on a crossing route later in the fourth quarter. "They moved him around a lot," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Marshall. "He's a physical receiver. He kind of pushes off the top of things and creates some separation and he did that throughout the ball game and Cutler did a nice job finding him the football in a lot of little plays in the game, and some big plays as well."