Dallas Cowboys Have Brandon Carr Cornered
Whether he likes it or not, the Dallas Cowboys have veteran cornerback Brandon Carr cornered. You might say that they have him by the – well, you get the idea.
Let me first say that the only thing I hated more than the ridiculous signing of Carr back in 2012 was the colossal mistake made when Dallas vaulted up for cornerback Morris Claiborne in the draft just weeks later.
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These moves absolutely stunk at the time and they’ve actually panned out worse than I ever expected.
A pay cut for Carr?
These two acquisitions have inspired me to almost despise the cornerback position altogether, especially seeing as how the Cowboys were much better off than anybody realized with former corners Mike Jenkins and Terrence Newman, as history kind of shows.
All those resources poured into this one position that faces the single worst man-to-man matchup on every play and in every game in the NFL went to waste. This is simply where the league has gone, what with more and more rules working against man coverage amidst a physical outburst of size and speed on the part of wide receivers.
They say that you shouldn’t give running backs a second contract once they enter the professional ranks. Use them young and get a new one every few years, kind of like leasing an automobile.
Cornerbacks are almost in that same category.
Now, the Cowboys have to pull the same maneuver they did two years ago at this time when trying to get right tackle Doug Free‘s compensation back in line. This worked out well then, and if you’ve been following along, it’s worked out yet again.
Carr is smoking something funny if he thinks he’s going to earn his 2015 base salary of $8 million in Dallas – or anywhere else for that matter. This is why he’s pretty much in a corner, so to speak.
You’re aware that Carr had zero interceptions last year, despite having played better than he’s given credit for. I know more than one person who has simply been unable to forget his getting diced, spiced and sliced by Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson in that awful game in 2013.
You can look up the yardage given up for yourself, but let’s just say that this day proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that Carr is not a shutdown cornerback. I’m certainly not saying that he’s chopped liver, but he’s absolutely not in the category of this year’s top few free agent cornerbacks.
According to Spotrac.com, Carr will count just over $12.7 million against the Dallas salary cap this season, at least as things sit right now.
The same source indicates that New York Jets corner Darrelle Revis will count exactly $16 million against the cap as he returns to the team that drafted him back in 2007. Granted, this is stupid money for any cornerback who will turn 30 before the regular season starts, but it does provide a benchmark for perspective.
This means that Carr will count just $3.3 million less against the cap than Revis, who’s widely regarded as the best cover corner in the NFL.
Almost a year ago, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman signed a four-year, $56 million extension to remain in the “Legion of Boom,” which includes an astounding $40 million guaranteed. His cap hit for this coming season is $12.2 million.
Well, these two overpaid cornerbacks just mentioned played in Super Bowl XLIX last month. Regardless of what they’re actually worth, there’s no question that they are both in a different class than Carr.
No, it’s not Carr’s fault that he’s in this situation. He’s about to turn 29 years old and he’s never had much in the way of a pass rush in front of him while in Dallas. It’s not like that final season in the 3-4 scheme offered anything for a run defense either.
These are nightmare scenarios for all cornerbacks.
However, Carr can choose to play for what the Cowboys want to pay or, like Free was concerned about two years ago, he can probably play for a good bit less than that.
The free agent dollars are about dried up for this offseason. Dallas wants to keep Carr, but only at a price that makes sense. Moving to a different market, system and roster isn’t likely to bring another big extension for the eighth-year veteran out of Grand Valley State.
Carr’s agent can yammer all he wants about his client’s expected disinterest in receiving less money than expected this year, but at the end of the day I don’t see what other options that a guy with 14 career interceptions (three in ’13 and ’14 combined) really has at this point.
Dallas likely won’t have to cut Carr.