Rookie LB Needs to Impress on Thursday

Remember Bobby Carpenter? You know, that long-locked, blond guy that we used to call "Barbie" instead of Bobby? The guy that Bill Parcells drafted as 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft as a favor to Bobby's dad, who played for the Tuna in New York?

Well, he was the butt of many jokes here in Dallas for his bust of a career — bust at least in the terms of living up to his high draft status.

Now, the Cowboys are working in another rookie inside linebacker who they chose in the second round of the 2010 draft.

Sean Lee came from Penn State and was drafted with the hope he'd back up beastly middle linebacker Keith Brooking and sub in for Brooking in passing situations, basically the role Carpenter played for the Cowboys last year when he had a career year of 46 tackles and two sacks while even starting two games.

But Lee hasn't had a good preseason, in fact, he's had a pretty bad one.

The rookie injured his quadriceps early on and missed a lot of time in training camp so he's starting from behind, but he's still got to be considered a disappointment so far.

Now there are six other guys who are competing for the role the Cowboys hoped to groom Lee to take as a rookie.

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That big question will be one of the many answered in Thursday's preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins. Even though it appears starters will not play for the most part, there will be a lot of jobs won and lost, and though Lee isn't fighting for a job, he is fighting to get in the good graces of his coaches.

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