For four NFL seasons, Kansas City Chiefs enjoyed watching the Brandons shut down wide receivers and blossom into one of the best young cornerback tandems in the league. Brandon Flowers and Brandon Carr were both draft picks in the Chiefs' stellar class of 2008. Yet it would only last for a spell, since free agency beckoned and the Chiefs were unwilling to reward both in the end.
Whether or not the Chiefs should pay Carr was a source of much contention during the 2012 offseason. Some wanted to pay Carr elite money to keep him next to Brandon Flowers, while others realized it was a tough sell. Early in the 2011 season, the Chiefs had reached a five-year extension with Flowers, and it was clear that Carr would be paid handsomely as well -- by the Chiefs or another team on the open market.
Ultimately, Carr went to the Dallas Cowboys and signed a five-year, $50.1 million deal, and the results haven't been pretty for America's Team. In two seasons, Dallas has failed to make the playoffs due in large part to a horrific pass defense. Just two years after drafting Morris Claiborne and going all-in on Carr, the Cowboys remain mired in mediocrity. Carr is ready to change that.
"I'm trying to take over the league," Carr said Sunday from the "Taste of the NFL" event to tackle childhood hunger, per the Cowboys' official website. "I get emotional when I say that, because I'm, like, dead serious. I've been playing this game for six years now. I'm just ready to make that jump and become that shutdown corner."
The results so far have not been pretty. Last season, Carr ranked 59th among corners at Pro Football Focus, and he was third worst in pass coverage on the Cowboys defense. Blogging the Boys' Dawn Macelli writes that the Cowboys aren't paying Carr to be adequate:
During his last two seasons in Kansas City, Brandon was a playmaker in the secondary; he broke up a total of 40 passes in that time frame. Over the two years he has been a Cowboy he has only broken up a total of 24. While that is pretty decent, Jerry Jones isn't paying him to be decent. Brandon Carr is making "star" money, and the time for him to become a star in Dallas is rapidly passing by
Chiefs fans should be thrilled the Chiefs did not match Jerry Jones' offer. Former general manager Scott Pioli was wise to keep Flowers and not Carr, who was a strong second corner but has yet to be a shutdown defender. Pioli gets reamed around here quite often and for good reason, but the call on Carr was a good decision.