Brandon Carr has played with more weight on his shoulders than perhaps anyone on the Cowboys in the last two weeks.
Two weekends ago, a former teammate in Kansas City was part of a murder-suicide. Three days ago, he learned of the death of a Cowboys teammate, practice-squad linebacker Jerry Brown.
He was leaving the burial of Kasandra Perkins, a young mother who died in the murder-suicide, on Saturday when he got the word about Brown’s death.
“I wasn’t ready for that. I wasn’t expecting it,” Carr said. “I didn’t believe it. So I called back and said, ‘What did you say to me?’ ”
Carr carried that sense of disbelief even into Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. But when the game began, the events of the last two weeks slipped into the background a little bit, and Carr began to deliver for the Cowboys.
His interception and 37-yard return in the second quarter helped the Cowboys tie the game, and he finished with four tackles and a pass defensed while helping hold together a banged-up defense that eventually lost cornerback Morris Claiborne.
“God has blessed me with another opportunity to wake up, another opportunity to make a difference, to do whatever I’m on this planet to do,” Carr said. “It just so happened today, we were all blessed to wake up and to come out here and try to put together a good performance and serve as an outlet for people who are grieving, whatever they are grieving over. We have three hours to put a smile on their face, three hours for them to try to forget about what’s going on in their lives, just to cheer for their team.”
Carr arrived in Cincinnati later than normal on Saturday. He attended the funeral of Kasandra Perkins, the victim in the murder-suicide, and then flew with owner Jerry Jones to Cincinnati.
“It was a hard day for him on the plane,” Jones said. “It was certainly on his mind. For him, I can tell you just firsthand, because I spent the time that I spent with him yesterday, it was fitting that he got the big play he got for us.”
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, “It’s been a really difficult week and a half for him, and he has done an amazing job of fighting through it.”