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March 15, 2012

Carr was a priority for Cowboys, who like his physical coverage, drive to prove himself

Jason Garrett said signing cornerback Brandon Carr was one of the Cowboys’ top priorities, that he plays the kind of defense the Cowboys want to play, and that he’s held up against elite competition, despite being from a small school.

“He’s really a guy that we targeted right from the outset,” Garrett said in a conference call Thursday to talk about the Cowboys’ free agent signings. “We think he’s an outstanding cover corner. He excels in press coverage. He’s big. He has long arms. He’s a very good press cover corner. We think he’s the right kind of guy. He plays tough. He plays the right way. He does a lot of things we aspire to do on defense, which is play that hard, press, physical kind of man-to-man coverage that he’s played throughout his entire career there with Kansas City.”

Carr signed a five-year deal with the Cowboys, worth $50.1 million. Of that, $26.5 million is guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus.

Carr, 26, will be in his fifth year since the Chiefs made him a fifth-round draft pick in 2008 out of Grand Valley State.

“He plays like he needs to prove himself each and every day, so not only do we like his physical traits, we like the approach he takes and his demeanor that he plays with and how he handles himself,” Garrett said. “We feel like he’s played very well but has a tremendous upside.”

Garrett said the Cowboys were impressed by how Carr (6-0, 210) played against the NFL’s top receivers last year.

“We feel like he’s an elite cover guy, one of best cover corners in the league,” Garrett said. “He’s a big guy who when you watch him on tape over and over and over again, played press coverage, really gets into some receivers. He played against Calvin Johnson. He played against Vincent Jackson. The stuff that that you watch on him from last year, he’s playing against a lot of the elite receivers, some of the bigger receivers, and he really holds up well.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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