IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys didn't have a single starting linebacker or a defensive play caller, not to mention their litany of other injuries – and Brandon Carr didn't want to hear it at all.
The laundry list of excuses for Carr's struggles in recent weeks – not to mention the ineffectiveness of the Dallas defense as a whole – could fill a notebook by now. But talking to reporters Wednesday, Carr didn't want to reiterate them.
"We're not the only team in the NFL that has injuries. The good teams, the great organizations, they're the ones that – they don't make an excuse," he said. "When one guy goes down, they can plug in whoever, and they can fit the system where they can get them to go play to their strengths."
That just hasn't been the case for the Cowboys this season. Whether you want to blame injuries, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin's scheme, or poor play by the remaining defenders, the Cowboys don't look likely to climb out last place among NFL defenses.
Carr didn't make much of an effort to sugar coat a defense that's surrendering 427 yards per game.But with a do-or-die game looming in Washington this weekend, he said he's simply focused on improving in the present more than worrying about past letdowns.
"You've got to look at the positive in a situation like this. You know you're not getting the job done, but that can all change just like that," he said. "Make a few plays, get the momentum going. Guys get their confidence back and get rolling, and it can easily get back."
The Cowboys limited Green Bay to just 132 yards and intercepted Matt Flynn in the first half of their Week 15 meeting – before the bottom dropped out after halftime. How the defense can maintain that for a full game is an ongoing endeavor.
"That's never-ending. Why do you think I look the way I look now? I'm tired," Carr said. "There's countless nights I stay up and try to figure out ways to get myself going, get my unit going and get the team going." [embedded_ad]
Speaking for himself, Carr said he'd hopefully found an answer to that problem ahead of this weekend's game against the Redskins. The Dallas secondary has taken plenty of criticism for soft coverage this season, which is something Carr said he hopes to fix.
"For myself, just be more aggressive – get back to my mentality that got me into these doors," he said. "I feel like I kind of went away from that – that's my fault. But you get the opportunity to go out there Sunday and prove yourself once again."
Despite the setbacks of the past two weeks – a blowout loss in Chicago, followed by Sunday's meltdown against Green Bay – Carr said the Cowboys are upbeat. He said Kiffin is still motivated, and the team veterans are still trying to teach and encourage their younger teammates.
"Right now that's all you can do, and on Sundays you've just got to get it done – no talking, no excuses, just get it done," he said.