EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 01: D.J. Ware #28 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against Sean Lee #50 and Bruce Carter #54 of the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
When Sean Lee went down in the Carolina game, many folks wrote off the Dallas Cowboys defense as hopeless after losing their star inside linebacker and leader. But what happened after that came as a pleasant surprise as his backup, second-year linebacker Bruce Carter, was forced into a leadership role and thrived in the teeth of the Cowboys' defense.
Then came Thursday when Carter dislocated his elbow in a loss to the Washington Redskins, ending a promising season for the second-year player as he will reportedly require surgery that will most likely end his season.
Now linebackers Dan Connor and Ernie Sims will be asked to start for the remainder of the season, and while they're both serviceable backups don't expect a coming of age in front of your eyes like you got with Carter who was highly touted coming out of college but coming off a knee injury.
After losing Lee, Carter was on a short list of guys the Cowboys couldn't afford to lose going forward, and well, that just happened. The Cowboys said Monday they filled Carter's roster spot by signing Brady Poppinga, a seven-year veteran who last played for St. Louis in 2011.
The Cowboys have also lost safety Barry Church and defensive end Kenyon Colman this year. Story of the season.