And to think, Rod Marinelli once viewed Bruce Carter as his Derrick Brooks. Brooks was just inducted into the Hall of Fame in this same defense playing the spot Carter was “perfect” for.
Instead, that spot looks to belong to Justin Durant, who’s had a great camp, to be sure. The precipitous decline of Carter is both disappointing and confusing.
Consider the following. Sean Lee is out for the season. The Cowboys signed a twice-retired linebacker facing assault charges. The reserves include a converted defensive end from last year, a journeyman linebacker, a late-round pick from a year ago, and a cast of rookies and special teamers.
The physically gifted Carter can’t nail down a starting spot from that rolled-out red carpet?
Yes, it appears Carter is the odd man out looking in. The Cowboys seem determined to take the field against San Francisco with Rolando McClain at middle linebacker, Durant on the weak side, and Kyle Wilber on the strong side. Durant and Wilber have been impressive, and McClain is built for middle linebacker if his heart is in it, but Carter was certainly expected to crack the top three.
Weak side linebacker is the golden boy in Marinelli’s defense. That guy lines up behind Melton wherever the 3-tech tackle goes, which allows the “Will” linebacker to run free and make plays with his speed. Lance Briggs was the beneficiary of the system in Chicago.
Simply put, Durant has severely outplayed Carter throughout camp. “Why?” is the more perplexing question.
I blame it on Danny Woodhead. Carter played well in place of Lee the year before, and seemed destined to a long, well-compensated career in Dallas, as second-round picks should. But that day last year in San Diego put Carter in a stupor he can’t get out of. Woodhead schooled Carter out of the backfield and put a big, bright uh-oh light on him that he just can’t shake.
Carter looks apprehensive and late to the party on every play. His speed appears gone only because his giddy-up isn’t sure it wants to go. Gone is the free-flowing, sideline-to-sideline style he once brought.
In fact, I’m not entirely sure an injury would have Carter next up. That spot might very well belong to DeVonte Holloman. I’m not sure what Marinelli thinks of Carter at this point.
I don’t think all is lost. There’s time for a young guy like Carter to find himself. But if he doesn’t this season, he could well be gone altogether, especially if Holloman and Anthony Hitchens gain more of Marinelli’s confidence.
Cowboys Trade for FB Jamize Olawale from Raiders
Less than a week after the Cowboys lost fullback Keith Smith to the Raiders in free agency, the two teams have worked out a trade to send FB Jamize Olawale from Oakland to Dallas.
Fullback trade! The #Raiders are sending FB Jamize Olawale to the #Cowboys, sources say. Dallas has its fullback, one who was with Oakland since 2012.
To facilitate the trade, the Cowboys will send their fifth-round pick (173rd overall) to the Raiders for their sixth-round pick (192nd), moving back just 19 spots.
In return, Dallas not only brings in a veteran replacement at FB but a player they already know.
Jamize Olawale was an undrafted rookie free agent of the Cowboys in 2012. Despite a strong showing in that preseason, Dallas did not have room for him on the roster. He was on the team's practice squad until December, when Oakland poached him.
Since then, Olawale has been a regular roleplayer in the Raiders' offense. He's missed just six games since 2013.
Jamize brings more offensive firepower to the FB position than Keith Smith had. He's scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three seasons. He can be effective both running and receiving.
Through the trade, Dallas picks up the final year of Olawale's current contract. It calls for a $1.5 million base salary in 2018.
Dallas Cowboys to Re-Sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for 2018
Continuity is the key to good special teams play in the NFL. Already losing long-time Special Teams Coordinator Rich Bisaccia to the Raiders - who promptly snatched ST aces Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber in free agency - the Dallas Cowboys have announced their intentions to re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur for the 2018 season.
Returning on a one-year deal, the fan favorite Ladouceur will be back to do what he does best in cleanly executing almost every special teams snap for Chris Jones or Dan Bailey to handle.
Long snapper L.P. Ladouceur will re-sign with the Cowboys on Monday, according to sources, on a one-year deal. He will be in his 14th season with the franchise. Only Jason Witten, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Bill Bates and Mark Tuinei will have more years of... https://t.co/yTQbMYyrIv
While Jones has improved as the Cowboys' punter with each passing season, Kicker Dan Bailey actually enters 2018 as another question mark on this unit. With the general belief around the team being that Bailey will be just fine moving forward, the Cowboys will no longer have to worry about who handles long snaps next year either.
L.P. Ladouceur is back in the silver and blue, and in this moment, everything can be alright with the world.
Report: Raiders Sign Former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber
A Free Agency period filled with departures continued for the Dallas Cowboys today, as the Oakland Raiders have reportedly signed the now-former Cowboys LB Kyle Wilber.
The Raiders have signed LB Kyle Wilber: https://t.co/TaC6cqjval
Wilber has been with the Cowboys since 2012, and has played in all 16 games four of the past five seasons. Most of his time has come on special teams, but he did provide solid linebacker depth for the Cowboys since joining the team.
Dallas has now lost both Wilber and Anthony Hitchens, depleting their linebacker depth even further over the last couple weeks.
The Raiders have now signed two key special teams contributors for the Cowboys in Keith Smith and Kyle Wilber this offseason. Hopefully Dallas can replace these types of "replacement level" players throughout the rest of the offseason, especially during the NFL Draft.
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