Cowboys Shopping Carpenter?

The fourth-year linebacker could play an important role in 2009.

Reports out of Valley Ranch have the Cowboys shopping 2006 first-round draft pick Bobby Carpenter.

Whether or not anyone will have any significant interest in Carpenter is yet to be seen, but if "significant interest" means "a willingness to part with something worthwhile," I would have to guess no.

Carpenter, the former Ohio State Buckeye, was drafted by Bill Parcells in 2006, and it’s not hard to see why. Carpenter is 6 feet 2 inches and hovers around 250 pounds. Basically, he is the prototypical mass of humanity that Bill Parcells looks for in a linebacker.

However, Carpenter has been a bust in his time with Dallas. The athleticism he showed at the combine, i.e., a 40 time that registered between 4.6 and 4.65 seconds, has not translated into any real success in the league, and he has only registered 50 tackles over three seasons, most of which came on special teams.

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Of course, most Cowboys fans could, and would, tell you that. And a great many of them would like nothing more than to ride No. 54 out of town on a rail. But this is where it gets tricky.

Kevin Burnett stamped his ticket to San Diego earlier this month. This leaves his role in nickel-and-dime packages, presumably, vacant.

Assuming the Cowboys won’t stake their hopes solely on 33 year-old-Keith Brooking or an unproven rookie, Carpenter’s athleticism could translate to this important, albeit limited, role. That is, Carpenter will (probably) be of much greater worth than anything we could get in exchange for him at this point.

Tim MacMahon, on the DMN Cowboys blog, says, "Realistically, the Cowboys would get a late-round pick for Carpenter. Is that worth it to get rid of a guy who could play a significant role?"

The answer to this rhetorical question, of course, is "No."

As it stands now, as hard as it may be to swallow, Carpenter is the Cowboys best option in those nickel-and-dime packages.

Love him or hate him, it’s time to get used to the idea of Bobby Carpenter in this role, and it’s time to hope the 25-year-old has a productive off-season.

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