I wasn’t yet writing for The Landry Hat when the 2013 NFL regular season began. I was, however, writing elsewhere and I distinctly recall having the inspiration to write a piece that I’m sure glad I didn’t.
Apparently, my mind got a little carried away with the fact that the Dallas Cowboys were transitioning back to the 4-3 defensive alignment. In being as familiar as possible with Dallas’ group of linebackers, I felt that this was going to be the strength of the defense—I never agreed with owner and general manager Jerry Jones’ assessment that the defensive line would be an actual strength.
As things have turned out, the linebackers, at least when healthy, have been as good as advertised—well, almost as good.
This is where I almost made a huge mistake, at least where predictions go.
We know that veteran middle linebacker Sean Lee is the heart and sole of the Dallas defense—it really is a different unit when he’s healthy and making plays. Nonetheless, I almost tried to make a case for fellow veteran linebacker Bruce Carter being the Cowboys’ defensive MVP in 2013.
Yeah, that was a bold prediction that sounded good, or at least I felt I could make a great argument for this theory.
Go back and look at what Carter did while playing college football at North Carolina, definitely a school that runs the 4-3 alignment and also one that has forged the professional careers for some great football players in the NFL. Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor as well as active pass-rushers Julius Peppers, Robert Quinn and Quinton Coples were all Tar Heels.