Sometimes situations have a weird way of working themselves out.
Obviously, when you think back to Sunday's game, what I'm about to refer to is NOT the main storyline, or even remotely close to what is the most important. I apologize in advance for sounding insensitive to the real situation.
But when I thought about different aspects of the game, the cornerback position – for both teams – kept popping up.
I found it ironic that both Brandon Carr and Terence Newman – two players who were indirectly linked together back in March – both showed us exactly how the Cowboys evaluated them at the start of free agency.
The Cowboys basically released Newman the same day they brought in Carr. It wasn't a trade, but more or less an even swap of players. Here they were on the field Sunday in Cincinnati and they both played the way we expected them to play all along.
The Cowboys signed Carr for a few reasons: his physical style, his playmaking ability and his character on and off the field.
The Cowboys released Newman for a few reasons: his contract for one, not to mention his lack of playmaking ability, especially when it comes to interceptions, his lack of tackling ability and his open-field coverage skills had diminished.
It seemed like all of those attributes were on display Sunday, and even Saturday night, too. That's when Carr showed up in Cincinnati after attending the funeral of Kasandra Perkins, who was killed by former Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher, a former teammate of Carr in Kansas City. Carr attended the service in Austin, and then had to find out about the tragic events of his own teammates.
But there aren't many players who would pay their respects like that, especially with a job to do thousands of miles away.
That's the character in Carr the Cowboys noticed right away.
And let me clarify when speaking of Carr's character. In no way, shape or form am I throwing any jabs at Newman in that regard. I like Terence Newman, and did from the moment the Cowboys drafted him in 2003. I thought he was a good guy. A little odd sometimes. In fact, I always called him the fastest 12-year-old in the word. And no, I'm not saying he was immature, just more in a playful, joking way.
But it's clear Newman's skills weren't the same anymore. To me, I thought all along a fresh start would do him good and it appears it has in Cincy. He was playing rather well this year for former Cowboys defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who has the same title with the Bengals.
But on Sunday, Newman wasn't that great. His biggest knock during his career was the lack of interceptions and we saw that firsthand against his former team. He had at least two chances to get a pick, maybe even three, but he couldn't make the big play.
He had trouble guarding Dez Bryant all day, but then again, who hasn't?
As for Carr, he made the biggest defensive play of the game, and if the Cowboys somehow continue this run, it could be the biggest play of the season. When it was 10-3 Bengals and looking well on the way to being a blowout, Carr's pick changed the whole game. And he also manned up on A.J. Green several times. Green just happened to have the worst game of his career.
This isn't a knock against Newman, a player that I definitely wish well in the future. But Sunday was just another example of why the Cowboys made the move they did back in March.