When Sean Lee went down during the 2012 NFL season, Bruce Carter emerged as an absolute star for the Dallas Cowboys. He became a ball hawk and put up numbers that would have broken records if stretch out over a full season as a starter. So heading into the 2013 season, everyone expected Carter to absolutely break out next to Lee in the starting lineup. That hasn’t exactly happened, but Carter shouldn’t exactly be benched, yet that’s exactly what happened on Thursday.
The Cowboys are going to start Ernie Sims instead of Carter in a critical Week 5 matchup against the Denver Broncos. One can kinda see how Carter’s rough performance against the San Diego Chargers‘ passing game could lead to concern heading into a contest with a passing powerhouse like Denver, but is that enough to bench him?
Everyone made a big deal out of Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett benching DeMarco Murray in the team’s fourth preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, saying the coach finally grew a spine and made his players believe he would actually hold them accountable. So now everyone is saying that Garrett is laying down the law again, but look closer and you’ll see this is just another classic case of dysfunctionality inside the Cowboys’ organization.
After the loss to the Chargers, in which Carter gave up two passing touchdowns to Danny Woodhead, Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said the heat in San Diego was the primary reason why Carter sat out 18 straight plays in the second half before returning with under three minutes to play in the game. However, Garrett refuted that by saying the heat wasn’t the issue and Carter didn’t play. But then the wannabe head coach said Monday Carter’s absence from the field was because of a foot injury. So again, everyone is contradicting everyone else — including themselves — which means this isn’t a hard-earned lesson for Carter, at least not yet.
Now if Sims plays well against the heavily-favored Broncos, then all will be well in the short term. But Carter, a 2011 second-round pick, is supposed to be a star for the next decade on Dallas’ defense and this definitely isn’t the way to ensure that happens. He’s 25 years old with one year left on his contract while Sims is 28 and playing out the rest of his one-year deal. So it’s unclear yet as to exactly why Carter is reportedly being benched in Week 5, but it could backfire big time on Garrett (or Jerry Jones if he’s really the one behind all this nonsense). There’s only one way to find out: hold on for the next big dip in the Cowboys’ roller coaster ride.