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Cowboys expecting a big year from linebacker Bruce Carter

Bruce Carter AP

How can an already bad Cowboys defense get better after losing top players DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee? The Cowboys have to hope the players on the roster can get better. And there’s no player they’re counting on more than linebacker Bruce Carter.

Cowboys linebackers coach Matt Eberflus told ESPN that Carter has “ramped up” in the offseason, and there are big expectations in Big D about Carter this season.

“I think he’s taking steps in the right direction,” Eberflus said. “And he’s putting the work in. He’s meeting with me as much as he can. Studying the tape, giving him clear and concise goals daily for practice and he’s doing a good job of attaining those goals each and every day so when he does that he takes steps in the right direction to improve his fundamentals and his game.”

Carter hasn’t been quite the player the Cowboys thought they were getting when they spent a second-round draft pick on him in 2011, but this year there’s been talk that he’s more motivated because he’s set to become a free agent after the season. Head coach Jason Garrett, however, says the improvement he’s expecting from Carter isn’t about wanting to get paid.

“That’s certainly a cliché thing in all of sports, that people talk about, ‘He’s in a contract year and he’s going to take a different approach than he had up till this point,'” Garrett said. “I don’t know if I buy that with guys that I have been around. I think Bruce Carter wants to be a really good football player. I think that’s independent of anything that is going on in the business side. I think getting comfortable in this scheme for the second year — I think Sean Lee’s absence will help him. It will force him to step up a little bit more. It will force Justin Durant to step up a little bit more. Sometimes you can have a player as strong as Sean Lee is — such a great leader like Sean is — sometimes you defer to that guy. I think it’s really important for those guys to understand he’s not here right now. They have to step up. They’ve done a better job of that throughout the OTAs and minicamp.”

If the Cowboys are going to have any hope of their defense improving, Carter will have to prove his coaches right.

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41 Responses to “Cowboys expecting a big year from linebacker Bruce Carter”
  1. redskins21lakers24 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:22 PM

    And the the joke was over lmao

  2. cueghost says: Jul 15, 2014 1:22 PM

    I like the enthusiasm coming from the Cowboys… sure hope it proves warranted. If they play any Defense at all, Dallas will win the East.

  3. jayovalentine says: Jul 15, 2014 1:23 PM

    8-8 is the norm in Dallas, I see 6-10 this year…. Jerruh really needs a GM, but us other NFC East fans are just fine with Jerruh being GM. :-D

  4. folkcrusader says: Jul 15, 2014 1:23 PM

    Good kid, but like most Cowboi LBs – made of glass.

  5. joetoronto says: Jul 15, 2014 1:24 PM

    Oh, surprise!

  6. 4thquartermagic says: Jul 15, 2014 1:24 PM

    Uhhh yeah because he’s the only starting LB left.

    Cowboys offensive players are going to be fantasy gold this year!

    They’ll basically be down 14 before the game even starts.

  7. floratiotime says: Jul 15, 2014 1:29 PM

    But you’re still going to get a very small year from Jerry Jones.

  8. drfeelyouup says: Jul 15, 2014 1:31 PM

    They will still beat the Racistskins.

  9. tavisteelersfan says: Jul 15, 2014 1:32 PM

    He will be these linebacker on the field for Dallas on day one. Sadly, that won’t mean much by league standards.

  10. eaglesnoles05 says: Jul 15, 2014 1:32 PM

    Expecting…praying to Jobu for… tomato, tomahto

  11. jerrysglassescleaner says: Jul 15, 2014 1:38 PM

    Dallas has the best offense in the Division. Best o line in the entire league. Think about it, last season with the worst defense, Dallas went 5-1 against the division and that loss was Romoless. If Dallas can get a little better on defense, the Division is ours. Look out for Dallas!

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 15, 2014 1:38 PM

    He was the 4oth pick while Justin Houston at pick 70 has been more productive so far. This is a big year and great opportunity and test for Carter to demonstrate his value, now is the time to bring it!

  13. 64post says: Jul 15, 2014 1:43 PM

    8-8? No surprise.

  14. ajgreenhof says: Jul 15, 2014 1:45 PM

    Was this before or after Shaun Lee went down?

  15. kimbrktty says: Jul 15, 2014 1:51 PM

    After the offseason and Free Agency and the Draft, Dallas is EASILY the 4th best team in the Division. And them Counting on ONE LB to help elevate the worst defense in Entire NFL, is a Reach, and smacks of desperation. Phily is the best team before games are played and NYG and Washington are both more complete teams now than Dallas…. its going to be a long year in Big D

  16. politicallyincorrect says: Jul 15, 2014 1:52 PM

    LOL

    Cowboy story…

    if there is ONE team in the entire league to ignore, this is it….. although not usually bad, they are Perpetually Mediocre and always irrelevant….. this team has zero chance of being a contender

    JJ loves this…. all he cares for is popularity

    LOL

  17. seatownballers says: Jul 15, 2014 1:57 PM

    Cowboys fans expecting nothing from Jerry Jones

  18. floreskins says: Jul 15, 2014 2:01 PM

    What do you think they are going to say? “Hey, we have to put somebody out there…”

  19. thefiesty1 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:05 PM

    The Cowbabies are expecting a big year out of everyone on their mediocre team. 8-8 is expecting a lot for them.

  20. revelation123 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:09 PM

    Jerry Jones likes money more than he likes Championships.

  21. weepingjebus says: Jul 15, 2014 2:16 PM

    I like how even comments on Cowboys articles tend to end up around .500 in up/down votes.

  22. scoonie97 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:17 PM

    Average player + Cowboy’s uniform = SuperStar

  23. bmorepositive123 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:30 PM

    cueghost says:
    Jul 15, 2014 1:22 PM

    I like the enthusiasm coming from the Cowboys… sure hope it proves warranted. If they play any Defense at all, Dallas will win the East.

    —————————————————-

    I like the enthusiasm coming from the Cowboys… sure hope it proves warranted. If they play any Defense at all, Dallas will go into Week 17 and lose the East.

    There, I fixed it for you!

  24. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 15, 2014 2:36 PM

    It is a contract year for him and that does change everything. It’s most likely about the money and I’m not buying the “he just wants to be a good player” talk.

    The Cowboys drafted 2 LBs and may have drafted Shazier in the first if the Steelers hadn’t grabbed him before them. Carter needs to play well right away this season or Dallas will be moving on.

  25. herecomethebirds13 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:39 PM

    Well thats a relief….they can’t expect much from the QB

  26. cwon14 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:40 PM

    Carter is close to bust status, picked too high and hyped all through his rehab as a failed starting point.

    He’s not the that fast, disappears for long stretches and many of his tackles are 10+ yards from scrimmage. Doesn’t cover well and gets muscled at the line.

    If he had been picked in the 4th round or later much of this would appear and feel different.

  27. fissels says: Jul 15, 2014 2:40 PM

    The key word for Dallas this year is hope

  28. cwon14 says: Jul 15, 2014 2:48 PM

    Talk about “damning by faint praise”;

    “He’s meeting with me as much as he can. Studying the tape, giving him clear and concise goals daily for practice and he’s doing a good job of attaining those goals each and every day so when he does that he takes steps in the right direction to improve his fundamentals and his game.”

    This is the way you talk about kids flunking out of middle school math classes.

  29. notthetroll says: Jul 15, 2014 2:54 PM

    Carter may not win the job.

  30. Grulks says: Jul 15, 2014 3:20 PM

    I really don’t know what to expect from Dallas this year. I think most objective people will expect the offense to be much better: one of the better O-lines, repeated commitment to run first (they are 11-0 when Murray has 20 or more touches in a game), the center taking over protection schemes, and dead weight like Austin gone. All of that points to a more balanced and streamlined attack.

    On defense, so many people are saying Dallas’ D will be attrocious. I know they got Tyrone Crawford back, signed Melton, and are hoping to get something out of Rolando McClain. I dont know if any of that is enough to make a difference. I think the D will be better than last year (lets not forget, Lee was out for a lot of last year, Ware was not productive last year-6.5 sacks), but the real issue is Dallas’ schedule.

    This team could be anywhere from 3-13 to 9-7. I sort of expect 5-11. Its a shame that JJ can’t be somehow given a torn ACL, and be out for the year as GM :/

  31. bigbenh8tr says: Jul 15, 2014 3:24 PM

    70 tackles in 11 games in 2012. Far from bust status.

    Will be helping us beat that team in Washington twice again this year. Our defense shut down Philly Washington and new York last season. Best or the worst division.

  32. floreskins says: Jul 15, 2014 3:53 PM

    With or without Carter the DEF is horrendous. Dallas is going to have to outscore it’s opponents to win, and you can’t do that for an entire season. The Eagles’ offense got a ton of pub last year, but they really only started to turn it on when the DEF started to improve. Held opponents under 21 pts or below for 8 games in a row at one point last season. DAL may very well be last in this division.

  33. 88xfactor says: Jul 15, 2014 3:57 PM

    I think Carter will be fine, now that he knows that possibly he could be the starter. Not having to compete with Lee for that spot. Given the chance, I think he could be very good. I always thought that Lee was to small for that position. That’s why he stays hurt. When those big guards an tackles pull around those ends Lee is to small to take those guys on. Bruce is maybe not as fast as Lee but a lot better equipped to take on bigger players. I really think Dallas will be a lot better this year.

  34. txraiderfan says: Jul 15, 2014 4:01 PM

    Think they’ve expected one every year?!?!?!

  35. poshous4life says: Jul 15, 2014 4:27 PM

    I don’t know why every column you guys write about Dallas defense has this sentence “after losing top players D. Ware and S. Lee”??? what did either of them do last year? Ware had like 6 sacks and lee Missed the last 5 games??? way I see it can only get better. bring on the young healthy legs!

  36. ccc23454 says: Jul 15, 2014 4:54 PM

    by Dallas standards if he plays all year its “big year”

  37. slick50ks says: Jul 15, 2014 5:03 PM

    Dallas is a totally one sided team, and those teams don’t win much in this league.

    Balance is where it’s at.

    Bruce Carter is average at best, and that’s being very complimentary to him.

  38. nflrule says: Jul 15, 2014 5:05 PM

    Your kidding right!

  39. stunzeed5 says: Jul 15, 2014 6:18 PM

    This defense has the chance to be the worst in history……seriously.

  40. northerncowboy says: Jul 16, 2014 6:24 AM

    —–
    Dallas is going to have to outscore it’s opponents to win, and you can’t do that for an entire season.
    —–

    I may not be an NFL genius, but what other way to win is there, other than outscoring your opponents?

    NFL Network had a weekend where they did nothing but rerun the 90’s. Dallas was playing SanFran for the Conference Championship in 1992 (I think). Emmitt had a nice 7 yard run outside to gain a first down. The announcers noted that it was the 11th play in a drive that already lasted 6-1/2 minutes. The announcer then made a great statement (paraphrased): “an offense like that is the best defense you can get.”

    That’s what I’m hoping to see from the Dallas Offense this year. Long scoring drives that chew up the clock. If we can keep the other team’s offense off the field longer than they are on it, I think we’ll be just fine. It won’t likely be a stellar year, but we’ll be fine.

  41. jlbutler66 says: Jul 16, 2014 10:22 AM

    Must put our best foot forward but for me it looks like “whistling in the dark” as they know how bad this defense could easily be. Sure hope the offense is in hyper drive we are going to need that if we are to avoid a real ugly season. What’s really worrisome to me is our salary cap situation is flat awful so the opportunity to improve the defense thru free agency or he draft.

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