The subject of Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr‘s cap charges has been a hot topic since the end of the 2014 season — at this time last year, reports were circulating that Dallas wanted Carr to take a paycut (a move that he rejected and ultimately never took place). But once again, as Carr enters the final season of a five-year deal, the Cowboys are hoping to reduce the corner’s compensation, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com, who reports that the club has had talks with Carr’s agent Ben Dogra.
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Carr, 30 in May, has started all 48 possible games since joining the Cowboys (and has actually never missed a start during his eight-year career), but he hasn’t registered an interception in the past two seasons and graded as the No. 73 cornerback among 111 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Carr is scheduled to earn a base salary of $9.1MM in 2016, and according to Archer, the largest sticking point in negotiations with the Cowboys is Carr’s potential worth on the open market. Dallas believes Carr would be signed quickly were he to be released, but it thinks he’s more of a $5-6MM per-year player.
“He, like everyone on our defense, we would like them to be more impactful, more productive,” head coach Jason Garrett said of Carr at the owner’s meetings. “Brandon has to improve but everybody across our defense has to improve. He has been a steady player for us. He has been a productive player for us at times. It’s a valuable position. And he has done a good job covering guys at very challenging spot throughout his time with the Cowboys.”
The Cowboys have certainly made no secret of their goal of improving their secondary this offseason, as, in addition to re-signing Morris Claiborne, they’ve also met with Nolan Carroll, Patrick Robinson, and Leon Hall, the latter of which is still available. Reports also indicated that the club would target Bengals free agent Adam Jones to replace Carr were he to be released, but those plans may have been scuttled when Jones re-signed with Cincinnati.
Dallas could still look to the free agent market in the hopes of adding more options to their defensive backfield, but the corner market is rapidly thinning. Hall, Brandon Boykin, Jerraud Powers, Antonio Cromartie, Sterling Moore, and Charles Tillman are the only cornerbacks remaining who were either ranked or earned an honorable mention on PFR’s list of the best 2016 defensive free agents. Elsewhere in the secondary, the Cowboys are said to be seeking upgrades at safety, having lost out to the Ravens in their pursuit of free agent Eric Weddle.