June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin talks with linebacker Bruce Carter (54) during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys Under Pressure: Bruce Carter

Nov 24, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) is hit by Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Bruce Carter (54) during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Carter showed a lot of promise in the 2012 season, his first season of real, on-the field action. When Sean Lee went down that year, Carter stepped up and played great football until he himself went down with an elbow injury. Then came 2013 where a scheme change saw Carter move from middle linebacker in a 3-4 scheme to outside linebacker in Monte Kiffin’s 4-3 scheme. This season started out well for Carter who netted 2 sacks in the first two games but as the season wore on Carters production declined at an alarming rate.

I blame a lot of Carters issues on this worthless scheme, injuries to the d-line and the overal defense it-self, it’s hard to play well when everybody else sucks so badly. Alot of Carters problems came when he was asked to drop into coverage. After the San Diego game he was benched as a result of 2 Danny Woodhead touchdowns that were scored at Carters expense. He actually had good coverage on both plays, but again a lame pass rush allowed Phillip Rivers time to make perfect throws. There is no defense for a perfect throw, I thought it was a joke that they replaced him with Ernie Simms as a result.

Regardless of what the Cowboys do schematically, Carter needs to be used more effectively. There is no excuse for a player to be used well one season (under Rob Ryan), and then be miss-used and eventually benched the next. Carters skill-set needs to be used not wasted.

Bruce Carter is in the final year of his rookie contract, 2014 will be a very important season for the young backer. If he can bounce back and have a solid season then the Cowboys should re-sign him to a long-term deal. The fact that the whole unit stunk and that the Cowboys decided to rush the passer with 4 street dogs all played a role in the bad year. It is imperative for him to have a big year, his future depends on it.

Next Up: Demarcus Ware


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