Is Bruce Carter in Dallas the next Derrick Brooks? - NFL.com
Bruce Carter is one of the NFL's fastest linebackers. But can he fill the critical Derrick Brooks-style role in Dallas Cowboys coordinator Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense? Chris Wesseling thinks so, and also thinks there are post-season awards in the waiting for both Carter and Lee:
There may be no faster linebacker in the NFL. Carter reportedly clocked a 4.39 40-yard dash before a torn anterior cruciate ligament ended his North Carolina career. Perhaps even more impressively, he ran down from behind Atlanta Falcons speedster Julio Jones last season. Don't be surprised if Carter and middle linebacker Sean Lee both earn their first Pro Bowl nods this season.
Bears, Seahawks CBs set standard for Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne - ESPN Dallas
Tim MacMahon writes that Monte Kiffin asked his players to study the Bears and Seahawks defenses, in part for their tough, playmaking cornerbacks. MacMahon then drops this little nugget:
"As the defense’s injuries stacked up throughout the course of the season, the corners were assigned to play soft zone coverage more frequently, which caused some behind-the-scenes grumbling."
With Kiffin in town, there won't be anymore of that grumbling, as Kiffin apparently told his corners that they’ll consistently be lined up "within breath-smelling distance of receivers", something that Brandon Carr likes a lot:
“This defense kind of caters to Claiborne’s and my abilities out there, our traits, our qualities,” Carr said. “It allows us to go up there and press pretty much the whole game. Whether we play Cover 1, Cover 2, Cover 3, you’ll have to find out after the (snap), but it allows us to be aggressive and go out there and dictate the game.”
Gosselin: Surprisingly, help for Dallas Cowboys offensive line could already be on roster - DMN
Gosselin quotes Bill Callahan as saying David Arkin, Ronald Leary and Jermey Parnell will all be competing for starting jobs this summer.
Eight in the Box: Returning from injury - NFC East Blog - ESPN NFC East blog
Dan Graziano looks at key players for each NFC East team who are coming back from injuries. For the Cowboys, it's Sean Lee. Here's why:
Lee has been a breakout defensive star for the Cowboys the past two seasons, but he hasn't been able to stay healthy. [...] The Cowboys' defense is different when Lee is on the field and at his instinctive, playmaking best, and it misses him terribly when he's not. Now set to play the middle linebacker position in Dallas' new 4-3 defensive alignment, Lee is more important than ever to the every-down success of the defense. [...] Improved health on defense is the surest way for the Cowboys as a whole to improve in 2013, and Lee is right in the middle of it all.
USC sports figures are highly compensated - LAtimes.com
Ever wonder what Monte Kiffin made at USC? Wonder no more:
Monte Kiffin, Lane's father — and college football's highest-paid assistant in 2010, according to USA Today — in 2011 made $1,569,961 in base salary, $35,000 in bonuses and incentives, $147,475 in other reportable income, $24,500 in retirement and deferred compensation and $14,619 in nontaxable benefits.
Now you know why Jerry Jones said all the coaching changes "ultimately ended up, frankly, being pretty expensive. But at the cost of, or the sacrifice of, not being able to improve, that was trite, in my mind.”
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