While the coaching staff is still insisting that Bruce Carter has not been benched following his dismal showing against the San Diego Chargers, all the signs indicate that Ernie Sims is likely to get the start this weekend when the Denver Broncos come to town. During practice this week, Ernie has been getting the first team reps in both base and nickle packages. From the Twitterverse we have the following information:
Ernie Sims worked nickel D over Bruce Carter.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) October 2, 2013
Ernie Sims says he's preparing as a starter for Denver. story: http://t.co/LyoepDDSm5— David Helman (@HelmanDC) October 2, 2013
With the high probability that Denver will run a significant amount of three- and four-receiver sets against the Dallas Cowboys, the nickel package should see a predominance of the defensive snaps on the afternoon. When you take into account that the majority of Bruce Carter's difficulties came in pass coverage, it is only logical that the Cowboys would want to explore the other options available to them.
Ernie Sims does have a considerable amount of starting experience in the National Football League. In addition to 56 career starts with his original team, the Detroit Lions; Ernie has also started a combined 25 times during tours of duty with the Eagles, Colts, and last season as a Dallas Cowboy. He knows what it takes to get the job done.
"The good thing is I’ve been a starter for years, so I know how it feels to be starting and being the No. 1 guy and everything, so I’m just going to approach it like I did back in the day, as a starter – preparing myself and getting ready to play balls out." - Ernie Sims
One thing that Ernie's experience has done is to give him a better understanding of the need to be ready when opportunity does knock.
"Back in Detroit, in my early years in the NFL, I didn’t prepare. I just relied on my God-given ability. But now I am putting two and two together and it’s going to really start showing up." - Ernie Sims
No matter if Sims starts on Sunday or if he comes in off of the bench, he does have the support of his fellow linebackers, including the man who he might be replacing.
"I don’t take nothing away from [Sims]. Ernie is my guy. I love him like a brother. - Bruce Carter
"Ernie has been a good player for us. Even with that injury he had in camp, he’s done really well. I think he’s the earned any playing time he gets. I don’t know how it’s going to shake out, but I think Ernie can help us when he’s out there." - Sean Lee
The rest is in the hands, and minds, of the Dallas coaching staff.