Dallas Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr has yet to play his first regular-season game as a Dallas Cowboy. But he understands the stakes involved in Wednesday’s opener against the New York Giants, the team that defeated Dallas in a winner-take-all battle for last year’s NFC East title in the final game of the 2011 season, then used that momentum to sweep through the playoffs and win the Super Bowl.
“Make no mistake about it. This is the most important week for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s as simple as that,” said Carr, who signed a five-year, $50.1 million free-agent deal in the off-season to become the Cowboys’ shutdown cornerback. “We’re going to New York and they won it all last year. They have it right now. So, that’s the goal (to win a championship).
“It’s a chance for both teams to pretty much go out there and set the tone for the division. And show the whole world all the work and commitment and sacrifice we put into this whole off-season. We want to play our best, prepare our best … I’m pumped for it. I’m trying to keep myself as level as I can right now. But come Wednesday afternoon, it’s on. Just put it like that. It’s on.”
Carr, who spent the last four seasons in Kansas City, is well aware of the torment that Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning has inflicted on the Cowboys’ secondary in recent seasons. Carr feels a strong obligation to help reverse that trend and expressed plans to put in long hours of film study to make that happen. Carr faced Manning once, in 2009, when he played for the Chiefs and noted that Manning is “a smart quarterback that can pretty much make any throw.”
But he welcomes the challenge.
“For myself, I’m going to turn it up a notch,” Carr said. “Just watching film and using my resources … to try and get an edge on the competition. But it’s going to come down to going out there and seeing who executes the playbook better. That’s really what it comes down to. Who wants it more?”
Carr knows his teammates who played in last year’s season-ending loss to the Giants still are pained by memories of that failure.
“Oh, I believe it. That’s one of the first videos I saw (after signing with Dallas) was the New York-Dallas game,” Carr said. “That (bad) taste is in a lot of guys’ mouths. That’s the good thing about playing sports. You’ve got the next year to go out there and try to prove yourself once again. We have an opportunity where everybody is 0-0 right now and it’s up to us to go out there and put a good show on and, hopefully, come away with more wins than losses and, ultimately, come home with the Super Bowl trophy.”