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Will Contract Year Help Bruce Carter?

Linebacker Bruce Carter is entering the final year of his rookie contract

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Will Contract Year Help Bruce Carter?

Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter is entering a contract year, and though we’ve seen players perform way over their heads in contract years in recent seasons, head coach Jason Garrett doesn’t think Carter’s contract situation will change the way he approaches the game.

Carter’s number in 2013 were the best he’s had since coming into the league in 2011--his 96 tackles, two sacks and three passes defensed were all career highs--but the numbers are kind of misleading. Admittedly, Carter struggled with the transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3 last year and it showed on the field, as the North Carolina product struggled to find any consistency.

But the Dallas staff says Carter spent the offseason moving in the right direction.

“That's certainly a cliché thing in all of sports, that people talk about, 'He's in a contract year and he's going to take a different approach than he had up till this point,’” Garrett said, per ESPN Dallas. "I don't know if I buy that with guys that I have been around. I think Bruce Carter wants to be a really good football player. I think that's independent of anything that is going on in the business side.

“I think getting comfortable in this scheme for the second year--I think Sean Lee’s absence will help him. It will force him to step up a little bit more. It will force Justin Durant to step up a little bit more. Sometimes you can have a player as strong as Sean Lee is--such a great leader like Sean is--sometimes you defer to that guy. I think it's really important for those guys to understand he's not here right now. They have to step up. They've done a better job of that throughout the OTAs and minicamp.”

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