OXNARD, Calif. — Brandon Carr knows he is the high-priced cornerback for a Dallas defense that tied a franchise low for interceptions in his first year with the Cowboys.
He understands Dallas changed everything but the players on defense, replacing coaches, switching schemes and putting a stronger emphasis on turnovers.
Carr’s cool with it — as in calm and seemingly confident.
“I mean, it’s Year 6,” said Carr, who started all 80 games in his first five NFL seasons. “You don’t get no younger. You don’t get these years back. So hopefully this will be the year that I could turn the corner as a player.”
That might not mean more than the three interceptions he had last year to lead the Cowboys, who tied Carr’s original team, Kansas City, for last in the league with seven. It might not mean more than the career-high four he had in his final season with the Chiefs.
But maybe it will mean more fumbles and passes that he tips and someone else grabs.
“I’m not going to put any added pressure on myself,” said Carr, who is entering the second year of a five-year, $50 million deal with about $25 million guaranteed. “I’m still going to do it in the framework of our defense. I want to go out there and be that lockdown, shutdown corner and make some turnovers and create some excitement for the fans and for my teammates.”
Cowboys safety Danny McCray points out that what Carr lacked in quantity last season, he made up some in quality.
Carr had a huge interception in a comeback win at Cincinnati the day after Dallas practice squad player Jerry Brown died in a car accident that led to involuntary manslaughter charges against teammate Josh Brent.
A week later, Carr essentially won a game against Pittsburgh by returning an interception of Ben Roethlisberger’s pass to the 1-yard line in overtime.