Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players' impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2015 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features cornerback Brandon Carr.
Name: Brandon Carr
Height/Weight: 6-0 / 210
Experience: 7 seasons
College: Grand Valley State
Key stat: For the first time in his career, Carr did not record an interception the entire season, although he ranked second on the team with 12 pass deflections. He did, however, continue his consecutive games played streak to 112, playing all 16 games for the seventh consecutive year.
Contract Status: Signed through 2016.
2014 Impact: In my opinion during the last month of the season and into the playoffs there was not a defensive back on the squad that played better than Brandon Carr. His game against Jordy Nelson of the Packers in the playoffs was clutch from start to finish. His effort against the Lions and Eagles was also outstanding. As good as he was in those games, though, there still are issues in the way he plays and those issues deal with his consistency. He is just too up and down for a player with his talent. You will see him have stretches where he makes plays and is all over the field covering his man. Then there are other times where he is giving up big play after big play at the worst possible time -- which we saw during the middle of the season. It's those plays that we tend to remember the most when we watch him play. What I take away from his game is that he tends to play as well as his confidence allows him to. When things were rolling well for him, like it was during the month of December and into January, you could see a confident player in his technique in coverage and tackling. He is a completely different player when his confidence is high. What is confusing is that he has played in this league long enough to realize that there are going to be situations where he is going to get beat, but he has to put that behind him and battle to the next play. Carr has a difficult time dealing with failure and what comes with it. There are far too many times where his sensitivity has gotten the best of him this is the area of his game that needs to change going forward. Maybe those final two months of the season will help him with that.
Where He Fits: There are some business matters that the front office would like to take care of with Brandon Carr before we see him back on the field in 2015 in regards to his salary going forward. If Carr and the Cowboys are able to come to some type of agreement, then I expect we will once again see Carr in the starting lineup at one of the cornerback spots -- but the question might be at what spot? I would not be one bit surprised to see these coaches take pressure off him and move him to the right side in order to help him with his confidence. Orlando Scandrick is the best corner currently on the squad and it makes perfect sense to have him play on that left side where your top corner normally plays. We'll need to keep an eye on that possibility going forward.
Nick Eatman: No picks for the first time all year, and he led the team in penalties and penalty yards for the second-straight year. The stats would tell you Carr had a horrible year in 2014 and for the first half of the year, it wasn't so great. Oh, let's not forget he found himself on the wrong end of the NFL's best play of 2014. But by the end of the season, Carr started to play good football, including two playoff games where he not only redeemed himself vs. Calvin Johnson with a stellar performance, but then in Green Bay he all but shut down Jordy Nelson. Still, the Cowboys will try to reduce his salary in 2015 and if not, Carr will probably be released. I think he'll take the deal and return for another year. Don't forget, when this team had Pro Bowl pass rushers in 2012, Carr lived up to the contract he was given. Corners need pressure players and this team hasn't had any the last two years.