Dallas Cowboys: Why Bruce Carter is So Important in 2014

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Sep 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter (54) and New York Giants running back Henry Hynoski (45) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

It’s no secret that the Dallas Cowboys have experienced more than their share of difficulties in the NFL Draft in recent years. There have been some success stories as well, but overall things have been hot and cold, especially when examining second-round selections over the last several seasons.

If there’s one player on the Dallas roster that could seriously change this franchise’s direction in 2014 it is none other than linebacker Bruce Carter. A second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Carter was selected despite a noted injury history which dated back to his days at North Carolina.

Carter was also noted for his playmaking ability, an intangible that hasn’t really shown up at the next level.

Whether it be injuries, poor conditioning or perhaps not picking up former defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin’s new 4-3 alignment as well as expected, Carter is a borderline disappointment thus far.

Carter is an intriguing case, for sure. This guy made lots of big plays on special teams while at UNC and was a cornerstone linebacker at a program known for producing NFL talent, especially on defense.

Julius Peppers was a Tar Heel and he was the best defensive end prospect in his class back in the 2002 NFL Draft.

North Carolina produced Lawrence Taylor, who set the modern day standard for rushing the passer and changed the linebacker position while possibly the best pure pass-rusher and overall difference-maker in NFL history—this was back in 1981.

Greg Ellis may not have made the same impact as wide receiver Randy Moss could have, but the defensive end from UNC in 1998 was by no means a bad pick.

Yes, some real talent has emerged from Chapel Hill and Carter is believed to be among the better defenders to emerge out of a deep pool of talented players.

Well, the Cowboys are simply waiting to see if Carter can maintain a starting job, let alone become a dynamic force within the Dallas defense.

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  • SmartThinking

    Carter has the physical tools. He’s even demonstrated he can use them. What’s holding him back, unfortunately, is between his ears.

    The defensive switch seems to have made a significant negative impact on Carter’s performance. The same might also be said about Claiborne.

  • baronmwd

    I would love for Dallas to trade back in first round and select a Mosley or Shazier . DE/DT is very deep round 2-4 in this year’s draft. I’ve been doing Mocks nonstop for last 2 weeks and if Dallas trades back and aquire additional pick(s) in the 2nd- 4th rounds we could walk out of this draft with as many 3-4 rookie starters on this team.

  • Juanito Juanito

    a lot of underachivers in cowboys country club team, blame jerry jones, he is the real cancer in this team

  • PaulTX

    You have a good point about him shedding a few pounds. I think the problem last year was that he was confused about how to play the zone. The whole defense looked confused to be honest.