Bruce Carter LB DAL 13 Days

Carter will get the start at strong-side linebacker on Sunday, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Carter played on the weak side last year, but his struggles with coverage assignments have forced the Cowboys to shift him to the other side of the formation. The Sam LB spot has more blitz responsibilities, which should be a good fit for Carter given his speed and athleticism, but his tackle totals could be limited.

Bruce Carter LB DAL 1 Month

New Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli plans on having Carter play behind Henry Melton on every snap, the same alignment that got Lance Briggs to the Pro Bowl in 2012, the Dallas Morning News reports.

With Melton protecting Carter, the linebacker will be free to read and react, an adjustment that should help his natural instincts and athleticism play up. Briggs recorded 103 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 11 pass defenses and two INTs (both returned for touchdowns) with Melton camped in front of him in 2012, and Derrick Brooks made the Hall of Fame with Warren Sapp performing a similar role for him back when the defense was new in Tampa. There's no guarantee Carter will have a big season, given his coverage struggles last year, but the Cowboys are doing everything they can to put him in a position to succeed.

Bruce Carter LB DAL 2 Months

Cowboys LBs coach Matt Eberflus says WLB Bruce Carter "ramped it up" during the spring.

Nobody has ever doubted Carter's athleticism or talent; he just hasn't put it all together. Entering his contract year, Carter is going to need to play much better if he wants to earn a big payday. He struggled badly against the run last season after being a quality starter in 2012. The Cowboys need Carter to return to form and for others to play over their head for the defense to not get picked apart.

Bruce Carter LB DAL 4 Months

Cowboys WLB Bruce Carter doesn't believe he's an option to replace Sean Lee (ACL) in the middle.

"From what I see, I think they're going to keep me at my same position," Carter said. "I guess they're just going to try guys and work them in and out and just see who fits best." Carter filled in for Lee in 2012, but not 2013. Carter struggled mightily in run defense last season, at one point getting benched.

Bruce Carter LB DAL 7 Months1 Comment

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he still believes WLB Bruce Carter can be "outstanding."

"We know he can do what this defense calls for and be outstanding," Jones said. "We have some real reasons to be excited about him and certainly he'd be the first to say that he had some things that he'd like to take back." Carter started 13 games last season but was benched for two games in October due to poor play. Pro Football Focus gave Carter a top-eight grade among 4-3 outside linebackers in terms of coverage, but he was a glaring weak spot in Dallas' run defense.

Bruce Carter LB DAL 11 Months

The Cowboys have restored WLB Bruce Carter to the starting lineup.

He'll be a full-time player, playing both in base and nickel packages. The Cowboys reportedly demoted Carter to "teach him a lesson" before last week's loss to the Broncos. Ernie Sims filled in. This week, Sims will stay in the starting lineup, though at strong-side linebacker for injured Justin Durant.

Bruce Carter LB DAL 12 Months1 Comment

The Cowboys have benched WLB Bruce Carter.

Carter got destroyed by Danny Woodhead and Antonio Gates in Dallas' Week 4 loss. Carter has graded out as a bottom-four 4-3 outside linebacker in Pro Football Focus' ratings. Dallas is going forward with journeyman veteran Ernie Sims.

Bruce Carter LB DAL May 22 '13

Bryan Broaddus of believes the team's new 4-3 defense will make WLB Bruce Carter a "star."

Carter has a ton of speed, and he projects as a natural fit in DC Monte Kiffin's scheme as a guy who can chase and make plays from the back side. The 25-year-old wasn't asked to rush the passer much from his old inside linebacker position, but Broaddus thinks he's going become a "problem for offenses off the edge." Carter just needs to stay off the trainer's table, and he'll be fine.

Bruce Carter LB DAL May 09 '13

Cowboys WLB Bruce Carter (elbow) said he's back to 100 percent.

Carter landed on IR after dislocating his ankle against the Redskins on Thanksgiving. "My arm's great. Everything is back to normal," he said. "I'm back to bench pressing, and I'm just ready to go." Carter has a shot at a breakout season as a natural weak-side 'backer in Monte Kiffin's Tampa-2 scheme.

Bruce Carter LB DAL Feb 22 '13

The Cowboys have penciled in Bruce Carter at weak-side linebacker in their new 4-3 defense.

Sean Lee will be the Mike 'backer. Carter has outstanding range and projects as a natural fit in Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2-style defense. Before an elbow injury ended Carter's 2012 season, he racked up 70 tackles across 11 starts.