IRVING -- As the Dallas Cowboys head into their bye week, cornerback Brandon Carr said it is too early to overreact to the team's 2-2 start despite a pair of lopsided losses to Seattle (27-7) and Chicago (34-18) wrapped around a 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay.
"It's not the time to panic," Carr said after Wednesday's practice at Valley Ranch. "We've got a lot of football left. We're still fairly new to each other, still trying to find ourselves. But the good thing I can see is we just keep battling."
Carr, the team's highest-profile addition via free agency during the off-season, said he is satisfied with the progress made by an injury-riddled defense that expects to regain the services of three starters -- nose tackle Jay Ratliff, linebacker Anthony Spencer and defensive end Kenyon Coleman -- from injuries when the team returns to practice Monday in preparation for an Oct. 14 game at Baltimore.
"We don't have a lot of mental mistakes this year," Carr said of the Cowboys' defense. "Everybody is pretty much on the same page. It's just we fail to keep our intensity throughout the whole game. We're still trying to find a solution to that.... But there are a lot of positives. A lot of guys are still eager to get out there, still have upbeat attitudes and are just willing to go out there and work."
Vote of confidence
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has overseen a team that has posted a 10-10 record since the start of the 2011 season, including a 2-2 mark this year. Although Garrett preaches a consistent, even-keel approach to his players -- with an emphasis on daily execution in practice -- the team has not been able to carry that approach into game day.
The Cowboys are minus-7 in turnover ratio, ranking next-to-last among NFL teams in that area, and rank 30th among the league's 32 teams in rushing. There have been too many penalties. And that has been frustrating to tight end Jason Witten, who has contributed to the inconsistencies with five dropped passes this season.
"Yeah. I think that's the case. Ultimately, I think we've got the right guys to get it done at a high level, to compete for a championship in all phases," Witten said. "Speaking specifically for the offense, it comes down to a couple of plays. A couple of plays change the game. Turnovers, it's hard to overcome that. But we're not going to quit... We'll get it turned around."
Witten said Garrett's approach is the right one, despite another slow start.
"The wins haven't shown it. But Jason's a great coach," Witten said. "I can't speak more highly about any coach I've had.
"He does a tremendous job of laying it out there and giving you the game plan to go succeed. He understands adjustments and all that goes into it. He's done a phenomenal job. We've just got to play better."
Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760