Oct 13, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett celebrates a victory with linebacker Bruce Carter (54) against the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 31-16. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Cowboys Bruce Carter Playing About The Same; That’s Bad News


With the exit of Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee due to injury earlier this offseason, the need for elevated play from the team’s other starting linebackers has now become a real necessity in 2014. And that fact is especially true when it comes to the play of fourth-year outside linebacker Bruce Carter. But according to one national writer, so far this offseason, inconsistency is still plaguing the Cowboys 2011 second round pick.

When asked about how Carter has looked during OTAs this offseason, ESPNDallas’ Todd Archer responded:

“I wish I could say he’s been different than in the past, but he’s been about the same. I’m not meaning to sound down on him, but it’s difficult to cover Jason Witten. I haven’t noticed him on backs as much and he struggled there last year. But he’s been in position a few times and not made a play. He’s made some plays. It’s been OK. He needs to be better than OK. That doesn’t mean he has to turn into Derrick Brooks, but he has to take a step forward. Sometimes he will do something and you’ll say, Wow. Other times you’re left wondering what he was watching.”

That’s somewhat depressing news as many of us hoped Carter would respond to the fact that this is the final year of his rookie deal with Dallas. And with there being “zero” talk about the Cowboys signing him to an extension any time soon, you’d think Carter would be motivated to perform better now more than ever. But to hear he’s still struggling could simply be confirmation Carter has hit his talent ceiling. And that’s bad news.

Despite posting career highs in tackles (96) and sacks (2.0), Carter’s poor play (especially in coverage) cost him his startling role for two games. And more red flags went up for many fans last month when Carter blamed the Cowboys new 4-3 defensive scheme for his issues.

“Yes, I think that was it for me. Just being more comfortable with the system. Going from the previous year in the 3-4, playing Mike to outside, playing Will; which is kind of like night and day. But in the same sense, it’s still playing linebacker. I think for me, (it’s about) just getting more comfortable at that position and knowing my role and just going from there.”

It’s going to be difficult for a stagnate Carter to blame the defensive scheme again after yet another year of tutelage under it. But chances are he’d be labeled another Dallas draft bust and find himself playing elsewhere in 2015 anyway.

Still, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones believes Carter can still salvage his career in Dallas. But, as Archer stated, the young linebacker needs to take a step forward this season. And so far this offseason, it’s not looking too good. And that’s bad news for all Cowboys fans.

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  • Dana Wilson

    Lets just wait until the pads are on. How can you say he is the same. When there not hitting. Dont panick yet!!! So sick of the stupid writers getting us the fans false info. Fair weather fans!!

    • Mekkio wekkio

      I’m sorry guy Bruce Carter is done. His play as a lb can easily be evaluated without pads. Its plain and simple was he in the area to make the play? Did he read a play correctly? Did he sniff plays out or was able to cover ? Sure he can go on the field and lay a few guys out but we all know that isn’t Bruce game.

  • william moyer

    The guy is a middle linebacker. Let’s stop making guys play out of position and expecting miracles.

  • David

    Let the guy play this year out. If he plays well they can think of structuring a decent contract for him. If he does not play well then they let him go and move on.

  • SmartThinking

    The three C’s — Carter, Carr and Claiborne — all struggled last season. And, if the coaches are to be believed, they still haven’t gotten the complete picture even with a dumbed down defense. So much of this game is mental. These three guys’ confidence were tested and found wanting last season. Everyone is expecting them to be better this year but if they can’t even get their heads wrapped around how to read a play, putting on the pads isn’t going to make much difference. We’re screwed already.

    • Earl Robertson

      Yea u right Mo couldn’t read a 1st grade book

    • Juanito Juanito

      put the secondary of the champs seattle here with the cowboys defensive line and they will fail, how can the 3 c could be good with a bad offensive line, and the next season will be the same, maybe after the next 2015 draft could improve and be a contender team, now cowboys are pretenders

  • Glenn

    Guess you missed this write up by Bryan Broaddus. Archer is ok, but Broaddus has eyes and ears that have proven to be fairly reliable. Here’s the post he had on DC.com on June 5th.

    From Broaddus on DC.com
    I’ve been hearing that Bruce Carter has been doing a much better job of playing in coverage. I was told that he is playing with more confidence and looks comfortable. In Thursday practice, while in a red zone period, he knocked the ball away from Lance Dunbar on an underneath route and had an interception against Brandon Weeden during 7-on-7 when he played in front ofJason Witten along the goal line, stepping outside to make the play.

  • Guy Smith

    Trade bait..We can always add a linebacker when teams start making their cuts