Dallas Cowboys cornerback Nolan Carroll joined J Dub City on ESPN Radio 103.3 FM to talk about what it's like to be a newcomer, why he chose Dallas and more. Here are some highlights:
What's it like when you come to a third team?
Nolan Carroll: It's a little different. Guys are different but I think you have kind of the same characteristics like your last team. You got your funny guys, guys that are quiet, guys that are shy and to themselves; all it is is a different team. Guys have the same mentalities on different teams, just different names. For me coming in, I already knew a couple of guys coming in. I knew Ced [Cedric Thornton] and Damontre [Moore]. I knew those guys so when I came in there, they kind of just embraced me so it made the transition easy so I could just come out there and just play and not worry about fitting in or anything like that.
How much is it about proving yourself?
Nolan Carroll: That's anywhere you go. When I first got to Philly that was the main thing, proving that I belong here. It's the same here. Every day my mentality is just to get better. It's not necessarily trying to prove to these guys that I belong here but it's about always improving on my technique and just trying to be out there trying to do the best I can for my defense.
Why did you pick Dallas?
Nolan Carroll: I had a lot of options but I feel like I wanted to stay in the division. I feel like playing against these guys twice a year for the past three years, I just saw the type of team they were, I saw the type of opportunity that they had to go to the playoffs. I've never been to the playoffs yet. Nine years, I've never been to the playoffs. I feel like this is the best team to do it. I like the culture that's here. When you play against them, you could just feel every single time you played that energy, that type of passion and confidence this team played with every time they played. It didn't matter if we were up. Like last year, we were up 23-10 and they came back and beat us in overtime so that was one of the things I saw. Throughout the season looking at games because they're always primetime games, you could see how those guys played all the time.
Question: Is the study not quite as intense when you stay in the division?
Nolan Carroll: I don't want to say not as intense but there's more familiarity within the division. When I first got here, it was really different for me. Going from the AFC East (Miami Dolphins) to come to the NFC East is completely different so to stay in the division, know the type of team you're going to be playing, know the schemes that you're going to go up against inside your division and who you're going up against too, it definitely makes it a little bit easier. Not saying that you slack here a little bit. You keep the same type of preparation.
How would you describe yourself as a corner?
Nolan Carroll: I think I'm physical, I'm fast, I'm big; I got all of the traits and I think now with what I've seen throughout the years, I'm smarter now. I see the bigger picture through a smaller lens, so to speak. I see what's going on as far as the safeties and the linebackers and those guys because I got that experience in Philly. I actually played linebacker my first year so I was able to learn what guys are thinking on every line of the ball: D-linemen, linebackers, defensive backs and safeties so for me, having that knowledge is just helping me and I'm able to help those young guys because we got a lot of young guys. We got to get them along and get them going because we got to be a stronger group here coming into the first game of the season.
You can listen to the full interview below.