Brandon Carr gives Cowboys something they've missed

SAN DIEGO -- As the names were rattled off, Brandon Carr's eyes got bigger and bigger. So did his smile.

DeMarcus Ware, Anthony Spencer, Jay Ratliff and Jason Hatcher did not play Saturday against the San Diego Chargers and only Ware among them has seen some preseason work so far, but Carr has a sense about the Dallas Cowboys' defense once those guys get back to work.

"Hopefully it's lights out," Carr said.

Ware, Spencer, Ratliff and Hatcher might want to come back to work quickly just because of Carr.

The Cowboys shelled out $50.1 million for Carr as a free agent in March in hopes the cornerback could change the fortunes of a secondary that was picked apart last December and January, leading to the Cowboys missing the playoffs for the third time in four years.

On Saturday, Carr had two first-half interceptions of Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers as the No. 1 defense ran its shutout streak to 29 plays in two preseason games. Overall in the preseason, the Cowboys have intercepted four passes in two games and recovered one fumble.

That just didn't happen enough in 2011.

"I'm sitting with Jason Witten and he says, 'You know, if we get a couple like that during the regular season, that's a difference maker and haves us sitting there in the playoffs,'" owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "I was really pleased there."

Carr's night was special regardless of the preseason setting. Nothing about the gargantuan contract he received -- surprising to some who felt it was odd to pay Kansas City's No. 2 cornerback so much -- has brought undue pressure.

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