What a disappointment to hear that Bruce Carter might be demoted and is not considered one of the three best linebackers on this team in need of playmakers. Is it the system or the player that has changed our perception of what we (and the Cowboys) thought of Bruce Carter's future?
Rowan: Good question, and I think that's something everyone's still trying to figure out. Carter's athletic ability appeared perfect for the switch, and that's been one of the great surprises and disappointments about the 4-3 change. I have to believe the switch played a major role, considering it wasn't until he moved from the 3-4 that the struggles began. He's a fast guy, and there are times where it looks like he's not going full speed. Thinking too much on the field could be a reason. This isn't the end for Carter, though, and there's still a decent chance he's a starter Week 1. But we're still waiting to see the player that everyone was so intrigued with two years ago.
Bryan: Carter still is getting plenty of work, so those demotion plans that everyone has for him might need to be put on hold. When he is on, he is one of the best linebackers on this team. I remember a conversation I had with Sean Lee about him in where he told me there are things that Carter can do physically that he only dreamed about. The scheme change has not helped Carter, but when you have a player that has his type of talent from a front office perspective, you are more willing to try and see it through.
What do the revisions to practice squad eligibility means for our current hopefuls? Anyone Dallas could retain now (e.g. Jamar Newsome) who they couldn't have before?
Rowan:The biggest part of the revision may not even be the addition of two more spots. Practice squad players weren't good enough to make the 53-man roster, and it's not like all eight on the practice squad would eventually move up. It's certainly beneficial to have 10 now, but I think the fact that teams can have two players with two accrued seasons of [embedded_ad] free agency credit now on their practice squad might be the most beneficial addition, considering it gives teams the ability to stash veterans who may have been somewhat valued commodities at some point. I think most teams will take advantage of the new expansion of the practice squad, though the Cowboys have enough young standouts that I think their practice squad will still mostly be rookies.
Bryan: Newsome would be a good example because you are always going to need receivers, but the player that comes to mind first if they don't carry a fullback on the active roster is J.C. Copeland. I believe that there is something there that is worth developing. I haven't felt like that he has had a real opportunity to show the type of player that he one day might become. A year of practicing with the club and working in the weight room would really help him. Without the extra spot, they might not carry that position.