Cowboys 2nd round pick Bruce Carter: RKG.
"The knee’s doing well," Carter said "I’d probably say to myself that I’m about 85 percent. I will say that I am full speed, I’ve been cutting, it’s just kind of more like a mental thing more than it is physical. Just trying to get my feeling back and I feel pretty good about it. I’m ready to go.
Asked how close he would be to playing if there was a game next week, Carter responded that "it would be a game time decision."
As KD noted in his quick hits post yesterday, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reported that the Cowboys have every intention of rotating Bradie James, and Keith Brooking almost evenly at the inside linebacker spots to keep all three fresh. Until he is completely healed, Carter is expected to contribute primarily on special teams - after all, he did block six punts and a field goal for the Tar Heels.
Last year, the Cowboys went into the season with five inside linebackers: absolutely, unequivocally," back in 2011. James, Lee and Carter are no-brainers. Jason Williams is now playing for the Panthers and the Cowboys have decided against tendering Leon Williams, making him an unrestricted free agent, so he's unlikely to be back., , , "
So the fifth spot is currently held by Kenwin Cummings, whom the Cowboys signed off the Jets' NFL practice squadlast season, where he had been oscillating between the PS and 53-man roster since joining the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Wingate in 2008. We don't know a lot about Kenwin Cummings (the mothership doesn't even have a photo of him on their player page), but we do know he drew some praise during the summer from Jets head coach Rex Ryan and fellow Jets linebacker Bart Scott.
"The guy that’s really jumped out at me is Kenwin Cummings," Ryan said. "He’s a 255-pound linebacker who’s really moving around. He’s moving in space well now and he’s physical when the pads come on, which is the best thing he does — he’s tough and can really strike you. The way he’s moving in the open field has been really impressive."
"Kenwin’s coming," proclaimed ILB starter Bart Scott. "One of the first things I said to Rex when I got here last year was this Kenwin kid, with some coaching, could be good — could be damned good.
Rob Ryan's scheme appears to have the linebackers do a lot of diverse things, specifically from the inside linebacker position, and having some depth here would certainly help. With age-concerns about Brooking and health-concerns about Carter, might the Cowboys opt to go for six inside linebackers on their 53-man roster this year?
It would certainly open up the door for some interesting UDFAs like Jeff Tarpinian, Matt Marcorelle or even draft PR-story Mark Herzlich, with the added incentive of actually being able to tell them that there'll be an open competition for at least two ILB spots in camp.
The last time the Cowboys went with six ILBs was in 2008, they've entered each of the last two seasons with five inside linebackers. But if they did do that, which position would you take that extra roster spot from?