IRVING, Texas – Linebacker Bruce Carter felt like he almost let his first career sack out of his grasp Sunday night.
Carter led the Cowboys in the opener against the Giants with nine combined tackles, including the first sack of his career on a five-yard loss for Eli Manning. The linebacker was rather surprised, though, at how tough it was to bring down the quarterback.
"It felt great," Carter said. "He was a lot stronger than what I thought. I actually almost couldn't get him down, but it was a great feeling. The defense played great."
Carter's sack was one of three on the day for a Cowboys team that forced three fumbles and picked off three passes. But Carter also isn't content with the fact that the defense allowed three 100-yard receivers and surrendered 478 total net yards.
"You don't want to dwell too much on what you do good," Carter said. "It's all about what how you can get better and just keep moving in and stuff like that. But definitely the big plays we need to eliminate. We've got to get that communicated with the secondary just to make sure everybody's on the same page."
It's not shocking to see the defensive unit still learning in the first week of the season, as the team adjusts to a new defense. Carter said it's now a matter of getting in the flow of the defense and every player understanding his role. He said once that happens, the defense will begin to look even faster.
Carter credits Manning, as well, for sticking in there after turning the ball over on multiple occasions.
"He's a great quarterback, and he's able to read coverages real well," Carter said. "We try to disguise stuff we were running, but I thought he still did a great job. We just need to cover better and make sure guys are where they need to be."
It was encouraging for Carter to see the emphasis on turnovers and hard work in practice translate to the field, but he also knows the linebackers can do a better job helping out the secondary.
"Eli's a great quarterback, and I take nothing away from him," Carter said. "We just need to work on our drops. A couple times we got sucked up on play action. We just need to hurry up and get out of there, out of the stack."