Current Rams and former Cowboys linebacker Bobby Carpenter was raked over the coals by the Dallas media for four years as a first-round pick who couldn’t crack the starting lineup. Not a bruising hitter, Carpenter proved a poor fit in the Cowboys’ 3-4 system, which requires inside linebackers to stuff the run first and foremost.
Carpenter only earned playing time in the nickel defense as a coverage linebacker. He was nicknamed “Barbie” by at least one teammate, and owner Jerry Jones publicly questioned Carpenter’s physicality on HBO’s Hard Knocks program in 2007.
Carpenter took the high road, refusing to lash back at the media, teammates, and front office. He was asked during Monday’s introductory press conference at Rams Park if the approach was difficult.
“I don’t know if throwing mud at anybody does any good,” said the No. 18 overall pick in the 2006 draft. “I know I had the respect of a lot of my teammates down there in Dallas, and respect in the locker room, that’s all that matters. What was said outside of the organization really wasn’t important to me.”
Carpenter also confirmed that he will play outside linebacker in St. Louis, though he isn’t sure if he’ll play the strong or weak side. It’s expected that Carpenter will end up starting at the latter position, with David Vobora and Na’il Diggs competing opposite him.
Meanwhile, St. Louis is leading the league in former Ohio State Buckeye linebackers.
In addition to Carpenter, current Rams Diggs, Larry Grant, and starting middle linebacker James Laurinaitis all played their college ball in Columbus.