ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 9: Linebacker Bobby Carpenter #54 of the Dallas Cowboys recovers a fumble by quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game at Cowboys Stadium on January 9, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Linebacker Bobby Carpenter underwent shoulder surgery recently, to clean up an injury that was nagging him for most of the season.
For those keeping score at home, that's three arthroscopic procedures (two knees and a shoulder) since the season ended less than a week ago.
But as is the case with Mat McBriar and Andre Gurode, Carpenter is expected to make a quick recovery, quick enough at least, according to the Dallas Morning News, to return in time for the team's off-season conditioning program.
Of course, 2009 saw Carpenter find his niche as the nickel and dime linebacker, evading somewhat the "bust" label that has followed him so persistently through his career in Dallas. Carpenter had 46 tackles, two sacks and a tackle for a loss on the year.
His first sack on the season, in week 8 against Seattle, was his first since his rookie season in 2006. He also had two fumble recoveries against Philadelphia in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Carpenter played in all 18 games in 2009, and won't likely miss any time with the surgery.
It's not as though he'll be drawing any favorable comparisons to his college teammate and friend A.J. Hawk any time soon, but it does seem as though he has found his niche, so to speak, evidenced by Jerry Jones pointing to his improvement this year as an example for Roy Williams. But that's a different can of worms, altogether.