Tony Romo won our Player of the Week award last week, and it looks like the Dallas Cowboys will make it two in a row for us with Brandon Carr earning this week’s honors. Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin raved about how well the corners played on Sunday night against the rival Washington Redskins, and Brandon Carr was clearly the brightest of the bunch. Most of the other CBs didn’t exactly have difficult assignments, because there is one receiver on the Redskins who stands a clear cut above the rest; it’s Pierre Garcon.
The Cowboys CBs came into the game with plenty of pressure on them, and No. 1 CB Brandon Carr had a ton of pressure on his shoulders. A solid CB who should be regarded as unquestionably the best corner on the team, Carr had struggled a bit to this point in the season. He definitely responded in a big way against Garcon, and I think he deserves to be honored in this space. I gave strong consideration to teammate Jason Hatcher, Antonio Brown, Tom Brady, and Eric Weddle, but I decided to take Carr.
An average fan might take a look at Garcon’s stat sheet and assumed he played decently well with six receptions for 69 yards, but nothing could be further from the truth. Robert Griffin III threw it in Garcon’s direction 15 times, meaning that he averaged just 4.5 yards per attempt in total when throwing it in Garcon’s direction.
Brandon Carr had three passes defended of his own in that game, and that number looks even more impressive when you take a look at the coverage data provided by the Pro Football Focus. Griffin threw the ball in Carr’s direction 12 times, and only four of those passes were completed for a measly 55 yards (not every pass thrown to Carr was intended for Garcon, and not every throw at Garcon came when Carr was covering him…ask me for clarification if I’m not making sense), which equates to about 4.6 yards per attempt. If you look at the total receptions, Carr had just one more reception allowed than passes defended; that’s excellent.
It was a fine day indeed for Carr, as he absolutely smothered Garcon. Even when Garcon made the catch, he was unable to get any yards after the catch. By the way, the coverage data above looks worse for Carr, because it takes into account the two receptions (on two targets) he allowed to RB Roy Helu, who gained most of that after the catch.
Another thing that was really impressive about Carr’s performance is the fact that he didn’t just have a big day in coverage, he was also excellent against the run. Not only did he quickly make plays on Garcon, but he was also solid in run defense and had six total tackles, including one for a loss. Most of his tackles came against the run.