For the second time in the same season, the Dallas Cowboys have lost their best defensive player to injury. One month after Cowboys star linebacker Sean Lee was placed on Injured Reserve (IR) with a torn ligament in his toe, fellow standout linebacker Bruce Carter was placed on IR with a dislocated left elbow. Things have turned from bad to worse for Dallas seemingly every week this season, but now all playoff hopes are likely gone.
Lee is arguably the best player on the Cowboys’ roster and his injury was absolutely detrimental to Rob Ryan‘s defense. Then Carter gave Cowboys fans to smile about by stepping in and showing he’s ready to become a leader for Dallas. However, both players will have to watch the remainder of the season from the sideline while preparing for 2013.
Carter finishes his injury-shortened 2012 campaign with 70 tackles, which leads all active Cowboys by 13. Carter also called the plays in the defensive huddle after Ryan relayed them from the sideline, taking over that position when Lee went down in late October. The Cowboys have now not only lost their best defensive player for the second time, but their defensive leader as well.
During his brief time on the field without Lee, Carter showed that knack for tackling the ball carrier when it appeared he had a lot of room to run. While praising the second-year pro, Ryan went as far as to say Carter is actually further along than Lee was at this point in his career. Considering Lee is one of the NFL‘s top linebackers, that’s quite a compliment and could mean big things for Dallas’ defense if true.
Following their loss to the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day, the Cowboys also placed practice squad receiver Danny Coale on IR, ending the 2012 fourth-round draft pick’s rookie season. Coale will have a very tough time competing for a roster spot in 2013 with the recent resurgence of Coale Beasley and Dwayne Harris.