After having an impressive start to the new year, did the Dallas Cowboys make a mistake not re-signing veteran cornerback Brandon Carr in the offseason?
Hindsight is 20/20. For some Dallas Cowboys fans, hindsight can be two games into the NFL regular season.
Earlier this year, the Cowboys opted to allow several of their veteran players leave the team via free agency. Dallas could have attempted to re-sign the majority of them, but opted to allocate those monies elsewhere and to get younger at some of those positions through the NFL draft.
And each veteran has had varying degrees of success through the first two weeks of the brand new regular season. But none more than the 31-year old Carr.
The veteran cornerback signed a four-year, $23 million contract to join the Baltimore Ravens this offseason. And in his first two games as a Raven, Carr has recorded five total tackles, six pass defends and two interceptions. The tenth-year corner currently leads the NFL in passes defended and is tied for the top spot in picks with his teammate, Baltimore safety Lardarius Webb.
The fact Carr has two takeaways in his first two games with Baltimore, and that he recorded just one interception in his final three seasons in Dallas has fans confused and frustrated. Did the Cowboys make a mistake not re-signing the veteran defender in the offseason?
The answer is an easy no. Although Carr, by all accounts, was a wonderful teammate in Dallas, never missed a single game and was a great member of the community, his on-field play never lived up to the five-year, $50.1 million deal he signed as a free agent back in 2012.
To highlight just how poorly Carr played in Dallas, his current totals of two interceptions and six pass defends in two games with the Ravens is more picks and the same amount of passes defended he posted for the entire 2015 season (16 games) with the Cowboys. And at nearly half the salary price.
Also consider the Ravens’ competition in those first two games, the 0-2 Cincinnati Bengals and the 0-2 Cleveland Browns. Baltimore’s defense forced a total of five interceptions in those two divisional matchups, with Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton throwing four picks himself in Week One.
Secondly, the Cowboys were a 3-4 defense under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan when Carr signed in Dallas back in 2012. The following season, the team converted to a 4-3 defense and a year later, Rod Marinelli became the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator. Those shifts in defensive philosophy only hurt Carr’s effectiveness in Dallas. In Baltimore, the veteran cornerback returns to a 3-4 defense and has found early success.
Did the Dallas Cowboys make a mistake not re-signing Brandon Carr this offseason? The answer is no. Even if Carr goes on to lead the league in takeaways this year, it’s unlikely he would have done so in Dallas. And his presence on this young Cowboys’ secondary would not have changed the fact they lost so badly in Denver over the weekend.