New to the Silver and Blue: Brandon Carr

When the Cowboys picked up free agent, corner-back, Brandon Carr, I knew nothing about him.  When they signed him to a 5 year, $50.1 million contract, I was shocked to say the least. After letting Newman go, we knew he would fill his spot on the roster. I was wondering if he would be able to. So far his preseason I’ve been extremely impressed with his talent. He seems to be fitting right in to the defense.

I also liked his comments on the Dallas Cowboy organization soon after signing. “From the moment they came and got me, to the moment I got to the stadium, it was just red-carpet treatment,” Carr said. “They showed me they wanted me. They were genuine with their words. That played a part in the process and my decision-making. The stadium is phenomenal-the best in the world. I’m excited to get in the uniform, get in the stadium and get to work.” Carr also said  he was ecstatic after signing his contract. “It’s been a long, long time, and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity.” Carr said, “To not only secure myself financially, but also to elevate my game to be at the highest level, which is the Dallas Cowboys. Now it’s time to turn my game up another notch.”  I think the work effort he put in at camp and his efforts in this pre-season so far proves he meant his words.

Carr was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round in the 2008 draft. On the final play of the chiefs 2011 season, Carr intercepted a Tim Tebow pass, not a bad way to end your season and career in KC.

John L. Carr and Kathy Robinson Carr brought Brandon Carey Carr into this world May, 19th 1986 in Flint, Michigan.  He attended Grand Valley State starting 41 of his 49 games. He helped the Lakers win back-to-back NCAA Division II national championships.  Brandon also received the Defensive Back of the Year honor by the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference his senior year.

I think Brandon will improve the Dallas Cowboy defense and will be a stand out player for us for years to come. Newman was a solid player for many years. I hope Brandon Carr can be as large part of the team as Newman.

What do you think of Carr so far in this pre-season?

Vote For The LSS Cowboys Rookie Of The Year

The Dallas Cowboys 2011 Rookie class was one of the best in recent years. The Cowboys drafted a lot of talent, but even the walk-on players were a pleasant surprise.  I have learned so much over the years writing our “New to the Silver and Blue” columns.   Let’s have some fun… We are going to have a contest for readers to help us elect the winner of our 1st Annual LSS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD. :-)

There were 15 rookies on the team this season, but only a few of them took advantage of their opportunities and ran with it.  When those rookies were called on, it gave the starters some pause to look over their shoulders and sweat a little.

We want to know who you think deserves the honor of ” LSS Rookie Of The Year” !

Here are you five candidates:

Out of the fifteen I feel  these  five are  the most deserving of this honor.

May The Best Cowboy Rookie Win!

A Tale of Two Defenses Against Carolina

What Dallas defense would we rather have on the field? The defense from the first half of the Carolina game or the defense from the second half? It’s an easy choice if you watched the 21-7 victory over the Panthers on Monday night. It’s an even easier choice if you look at the numbers. The answer would be the Dallas defense from the second half.

The Cowboys held the Panthers scoreless for most of the first half except for a 90 yard touchdown drive in 8 plays for the Panthers that put them ahead 7-0 shortly before halftime. The defense did come up with their first interception of the season when Mike Jenkins out jumped Muhsin Muhammad. The secondary did a good job on Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith limiting him to just 3 receptions for 23 yards with Terence Newman covering him and safety help most of the game. The Dallas defense did allow 160 yards of offense to the Panthers. Most of that coming on the touchdown drive. There were also many missed tackles during the first half which reminded me of what happened during the loss to the Giants.

The second half would be a completely different story for the Dallas defense. What ever was said in the locker room and what ever adjustments were made need to continue as Dallas moves onto week 4 against the Denver Broncos. The second half saw the defense force the Panthers into five 3 and out drives and not allow any points. None of those five drives going over two minutes. The defense did not give up a first down to the Panthers until 4:23 was left in the game. They also collected their first sack of the season when Jay Ratliff took down Jack Delhomme in the 3rd quarter. They would add two more by rookie Victor Butler in the 4th quarter. Up until the final drive for Carolina the Dallas defense only gave up 33 yards to them. Also holding Steve Smith to only 1 reception for 15 yards. The defense would only surrender 81 yards to Carolina in the second half. The game would be sealed by Terence Newman who intercepted Delhomme late in the 4th quarter and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.

I’m hoping we see more of the same from the Dallas defense that we all saw in the second half against the Panthers. They tasted their first interceptions of the season as well as their first sacks. I believe it’s time for Wade Phillips to announce that Mike Jenkins is the full time starter at cornerback with Orlando Scandrick continuing his play as the nickel corner. With Carolina needing to pass late in the game Victor Butler came up with two sacks. Could be because he had fresh legs and took advantage of the tired offensive linemen. Hopefully he will get more opportunities as the season goes on. The tackling was much better by everyone in the second half. They also were able to knock down some balls from the receivers. I’m really hoping last nights victory will be a turning point for the season and will start their assault on opposing defenses.

Defense Adjusts In Second Half

On Sunday the Cowboys played the Buccaneers and in the first half, the Cowboys defense looked a little lost to me. They were giving up gains of 7-yards,14-yards to Tampa’s running back “Cadillac” Williams. I was not sure what the defense was doing.

C. Williams gained almost 80 yards in the first half and frankly, I was a little bit worried. I do not know what the problem was, but Tampa Bay was ripping off big gains in the running game and almost the same in the passing game.

The secondary had quite a few blown coverages. Even though Mike Jenkins was solid, he did give up some big gains. On most of them it seemed as though he thought he had help. He was not playing the right technique which allowed the receiver to get inside for easy catches.

In the second half the defense clamped down on the running game, however the secondary still gave up some big catches.

The coaches really have to look at this game and see what was going on. The Giants are next and we really need to be able to shut down the run and pass.

All in all the defense did enough to help us win, however we need some big improvements.

Am I allowed to be excited in June about the Cowboys Defense?

So I keep reading about all these different things the Cowboys are doing with their defense during the OTA’s. If one thing is certain it’s that Wade Phillips knows defense. I made comments to people late last season that the defense was playing different when Wade took control from Brian Stewart. They seemed to be moving around more and attacking more.

Today I’m reading things like DeMarcus Ware lining up on the left side along side new starter Anthony Spencer. Ware also lined up as what looked like a defensive end in a 4-3 defense.

Bradie James also lined up as a defensive end attacking from the outside.

Gerald Sensabaugh lurking at the line of scrimmage to maybe blitz or maybe to pick up the tight end or running back.

Everyone attacking from all over the field. I also have a very good feeling about the Dallas secondary this season. If they can play more man-to-man defense and play it well then that will allow the defensive front to continue to attack. They might even have a chance to break last seasons sack total of 59.

Bradie James…

“We have guys just attacking,” James said, somewhat satisfied with the aggressive nature of this defense. “This is how a 3-4 is supposed to be. I don’t know that you can call this a 3-4 after all this.

“It’s a multiple defense.”

“You want to be aggressive and not stand around,” James said of some of the more unusual formations being used on the nickel and dime. “We’re doing a lot of different things, different schemes.”

“We never would do that last year,” James said of all the movement the defense was showing. “(Phillips) was still learning the personnel. We can do different things with Bobby (Carpenter) and Spencer and D. Ware.”

I think the defense will be faster this season with the additions of Gerald Sensabaugh, Michael Hamlin, Mike Mickens and DeAngelo Smith. As well as Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick taking over for Anthony Henry and Anthony Spencer taking over for Greg Ellis

Wade Phillips…

“Things we ran today are fairly complicated and we didn’t make many mistakes today,” said Phillips, who did suggest the possibility of playing more man coverage this year. “Play a little more man and maybe more blitz stuff.

“We’re a pretty good pressure team with all the movement we have.”

On a negative note for the defense. One of the schemes the Cowboys ran during practice while defenders were blitzing and mixing up coverages, there was DeMarcus Ware running 30 yards up the middle of the field chasing who? Felix Jones, and guess who won that contest? Ware needs to move around and do what he does best, rush the QB.

Yes, I’m excited in June to read all of these things about the Cowboys defense. I can’t wait to see this all in action. Attacking week in and week out. Pressure, Pressure, Pressure for 60 minutes. Could this be the newest version of the Doomsday Defense? Let’s hope so.

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