Sunday, August 03, 2008

DC.COM Blog: Carpenter Just Wants A Chance

Posted by rphillips at 8/2/2008 8:28 PM CDT on

Back home (where I hear it's 105 degrees) our Cowboys TV department at Valley Ranch is located adjacent to the team weight room. There's always a better than 50 percent chance you'll see linebacker Bobby Carpenter in there working out, whether it's in the dog days of June or the middle of November.

Carpenter is one of Wade Phillips' most committed players. Given his work ethic, you can understand his disappointment about not consistently cracking the defensive rotation in his first two seasons. His odds have gotten longer this year with Bradie James and Zach Thomas entrenched as starters and Kevin Burnett valued in nickel packages because of his coverage ability.

Carpenter, who had a terrific morning practice, spoke afterward about his role and the off-season trade rumors that never materialized.

"It's something that if it had happened I wouldn't have considered it the worst thing in the world, but I want to try to make it work here," he said. "I was drafted here in the first round. I probably haven't lived up to a lot of people's expectations and even my own as well, whether that's through opportunity or whatever that remains to be seen. But I hope I'll be given a chance so I can go in there and play."

Carpenter wants to prove he was worth his first-round status in 2006, but that will only happen through opportunity. He's been moved to all four linebacker spots at some point over the past two seasons but said he's feeling comfortable at Thomas' weak inside spot, where he's able to flow to the ball and make tackles.

"He was in a 3-4 to start with when he came in and they put him at outside backer and he's not really a 3-4 outside backer in my opinion," Phillips said. "He can play it, but I don't think he's going to be an outstanding outside backer in the 3-4. I think inside was what he needed to play and I think he's coming along."