The DC Times

A New Way to Look at the Cowboys, NFL, and Fantasy Football

By Jonathan Bales

Brandon Carr or Cortland Finnegan? Why Cowboys Should Target Carr

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Jonathan Bales

My article on the NFL’s top 20 guards was posted on ESPN again here.  I will continue my position rankings in the coming weeks, as time allows between draft coverage.

Today, I want to take a look at the Cowboys’ cornerback situation.  At pick No. 14, the team is in a good spot to select either Alabama’s Dre Kirkpatrick (who might be on the board) or North Alabama’s Janoris Jenkins (who should definitely be on the board).  I did a scouting report on Jenkins here.

With so many needs, though, the Cowboys could look to free agency to fill the hole at cornerback.  I think that’s the prudent move, as the abundance of quality cornerbacks on the market will lower the price for a second-tier guy like Brandon Carr.

I did an article a couple weeks ago on why Carr should be the Cowboys’ top free agent target.  Shortly after that was published, the team was linked to Carr.  Now, Dallas is rumored to have interest in both he and Cortland Finnegan.  Here is why the former Kansas City cornerback is the better fit. . .

Both cornerbacks are extremely talented and had excellent seasons in 2011.  There’s no doubt Finnegan is superior to Carr against the run.  Although he missed a slightly higher percentage of tackles, that’s really only because he’s in position to make more.  Although small (5’10”, 192 pounds), Finnegan is extremely physical.  He would bring a much-needed nastiness to the Dallas defense.

In my opinion, though, Carr is the better cover man.  The 49.4% completion rate he allowed in 2011 was stellar, but more importantly, he’s a play-maker.  He will jump routes and create havoc for an offense.  At this point, the Cowboys desperately need a cornerback who possesses wide receiver-like ball skills.

The Cowboys really can’t go wrong with either player, but Carr is the superior option for two reasons.  First, he will probably cost less than Finnegan.  This isn’t a certainty, but I’m getting the sense Finnegan might surpass even Brent Grimes as the market’s richest cornerback in 2012.

Secondly, Finnegan is 28 years old.  This is by no means over-the-hill, but he will probably be about 33 when his contract ends, and thus likely not playing at a level which merits the money he will receive.  Carr, on the other hand, is just 25.  At the end of his deal, he’ll be in the prime of his career.  All things being equal, go with the younger, cheaper player.

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3 Responses to Brandon Carr or Cortland Finnegan? Why Cowboys Should Target Carr

  1. john coleman says:

    A few thougths- I’m not overly high on either because of price. So to your point, the cheaper of the two would be my way of going. I also agree with the age situation. I believe Carr is slightly taller as well.

    I am concerned- Isn’t Carr the guy that Austin burned for 250 yards? Also why are the Chiefs letting him go, when they have plenty of cap room? In todays league you need 3 good CBs. Finally, other than Rivers, he didn’t exactly play against marquee QBs in division. Rivers didn’t have all of his weapons last season either.

    The price must be right. We simply can’t mortgage the future by overpaying for FAs.

  2. Tyrone Jenkins says:

    Finnegan is another Scandrick.

    Carr, I think, will be too high priced that in a year (when Jenkins is looking to be resigned) the Boys will be paying their starting CBs a combined $20 million a year. That aint good.

    Skip both and pick up Terrell Thomas. He’s a injury risk but the Boys have to take some chances to get back to form…

  3. Tom says:

    I’m in favor of picking up Carr, or Finnegan, but it does sound like Dallas is more interested in Carr. A big, young CB without injury history, who has gotten better each season after coming to the NFL from tiny Grand Valley St.

    Until Jenkins shows he can play consistently at the level he did in 2009, he can’t be counted on as a true #1. So when Newman goes, Dallas has a big void at CB. Scandrick seems like strictly a slot CB, and there may only be a couple plug and play CBs available in the draft.

    No good CB in FA will come cheap. If they do, there is a reason for it. Injury risk, locker room cancer, off field problems, age. I think the market does a good job accessing value to players these days. Carr has a lot of value because he’s young and improving, injury free, and a big CB at 6ft 200+lbs.

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