Brandon Carr not pressured by contract

OXNARD, Calif. -- When the Cowboys front office talks about an improved defense, one of the main components revolves around cornerback Brandon Carr.

He signed a five-year $50.1 million deal with $25.5 million guaranteed. The Cowboys expect Carr, along with first-round pick, Morris Claiborne, to improve a secondary that struggled at times last season.

"No pressure," Carr said after his first practice Monday. "I've loved playing this game since I was in the fourth grade. I'm just going to relax and do my job and I have confidence in myself. You have ups and downs on that island but at the end of the day, you got to go out and compete and work my butt off."

Carr's first practice had him mainly on Miles Austin and Dez Bryant. There were some physical battles between Bryant and Carr, especially on man coverage.

"I'm getting some good work in," Carr said. "This core is among the best in the league right now. Everyday you want to compete and they will push you out here. Dez is a tremendous athlete. He has the ability to push you down the field. He's strong and just him learning the game, his third year in, he's still learning the game and that light blub is going to click. But every day we're going to work and get after it."

One thing the Cowboys should be excited about is Carr's durability.

Carr's Twitter name is Iron Horse, a nickname given to him by an assistant coach in Kansas City. Carr has never missed a NFL game, he's started 64 consecutive games, the second-longest streak among active corners. Tampa Bay's Ronde Barber has started in 199 consecutive games.

"My first practice felt good," Carr said. "It was good to finally get back out on the field with my teammates. We had some time off to regroup and get ourselves together, now it's time to grind it out and get ourselves together."