As we get closer to the March 13th kickoff of free agency the growing chatter surrounding the Cowboys and Brandon Carr has now turned closer to a full blown reality. Not only is this great news for Cowboys fans who watched yet another December collapse unfold before their eyes, but signing Carr would potentially fill their biggest need. The move to sign Carr would make a world of sense for the Cowboys on multiple levels although it would consume a healthy portion of the salary cap. At 6'0" and 207 pounds, Carr's development has been rock solid for the Chiefs since being drafted in the fifth round four years ago out of Grand Valley State. The 25 year-old cornerback has started all 64 games since entering the league while recording 237 tackles and totalling eight interceptions, four of which occurred in 2011.
If you go all the way back to some scouting reports heading into the draft the read on Carr was that he brought a solid skill set to the next level but needed seasoning and some time to develop his game. I would say that in watching some footage from 2010 and this past season his game has arrived and he would make a huge impact on the Cowboys defense. The traits that jump out at me are his athletic ability, good balance, toughness and upside.
Only 25 and still building off those traits, Carr has the potential of growing into a top tier cornerback with his continued development since entering the league and by proving himself against the NFC's best receivers. The Cowboys would flourish in the secondary with his aggressive style and he would bring back some swagger that Rob Ryan's crew seemed to lose after the midway point of the season. With receivers like Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin wreaking havoc in the NFC East, the Cowboys need answers in the secondary fast or more mediocrity looms.
So besides being a young and upcoming corner who would instantly provide the Cowboys secondary with a lift, there is one statistic that grabbed me about Carr, 65 career passes defended with 25 coming in 2010 and 15 in 2011. If you examine the Cowboys secondary players in 2011 alone, Mike Jenkins and Terrance Newman had 16 passes defended combined. Orlando Scandrick had five.
What's so compelling about that statistic is it tells me that Carr is making plays and ball hawking which is something the Cowboys secondary sorely lacks. When you're giving up 10 to 15 yards of cushion like Newman or playing through injuries like Jenkins did, which is admirable but limited his effectiveness. Opposing offenses ramped up their game plans to go vertical on the Cowboys and were successful. Brandon Carr would give offensive coordinators something to think about and give Rob Ryan more opportunities to turn up the heat on opposing quarterbacks.
Not only is Brandon Carr a young, solid cornerback that would instantly make this defense better, he would give the Cowboys the peace of mind in knowing that they've secured a major building block for the future.
Signing him would also give the Cowboys flexibility in the draft by allowing them to either double down and take another corner, which would solidify their secondary even more, select an offensive lineman like David DeCastro or simply take the highest rated player on their board. What the Cowboys get with Brandon Carr is simply a lot to like.
With cornerback being arguably our biggest need it's hard not to get excited about the position he plays, his youth and overall ability and the fact that he's plug and play ready. Not only has his development gotten him to this point in his career, but he's still learning the nuances of the game. Not only does he provide all of these tangible qualities, but he provides a significant intangible one as well, hope.
He simply gives the fans hope that something better lies ahead for this team which this fan base needs. When free agency starts on March 13th I can't think of a better city to be Brandon Carr's landing spot than Dallas. A city that he most definitely would look good in.