Cowboys Defensive Players Growing Chips On Their Shoulders

Dallas Cowboys players Brandon Carr and Bruce Carter developing chips on their shoulders - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys defense is getting tired of hearing how bad they are going to be in 2014.

"I’m going to come out here with a chip on my shoulder." - Bruce Carter

"But it was good for me to get me back humble and get back to that grind – that chip on my shoulder." - Brandon Carr

chip on your shoulder - to seem angry all the time because you think you have been treated unfairly or feel you are not as good as other people - Cambridge Dictionary

A theme is beginning to emerge from some of the Dallas Cowboys defensive players who played on the disastrous 2013 edition of the team. Both linebacker Bruce Carter and cornerback Brandon Carr feel they have something to prove this season and they have been working hard to make sure it happens. Both players were on my Cowboys "hot seat list" posted recently but it sounds like they been feeling the heat for a while in this offseason. This is all a good thing. These guys need something to rally around and something that will make them slightly angry heading in to 2014. All the negative talk has made our own Tom Ryle angry, maybe that's spilling over to the players.

Carter's 2013 was as bad as it seems when you look at his lack of impact plays.

In 15 games, he failed to make a noteworthy play. He didn’t force or recover a fumble. He didn’t contribute an interception. What Carter did do was make others question his dedication and work ethic. While he made a career-high 122 tackles, only four resulted in lost yardage. He also proved a liability in coverage, surrendering a completion percentage of 75.3 on passes thrown his way. According to ProFootballFocus.com, he was the fifth-worst 4-3 outside linebacker last season, when it seemed he was never completely comfortable in the team’s new defensive scheme.

That's bad for a plyer we thought was going to be a star at the Will. His thoughts on a revival along with his position coach's comments.

"I’m going to come out here with a chip on my shoulder," Carter said. "I definitely have a lot to prove to everybody, especially myself. I want to come out here and just get this thing moving in the right direction. I just want to be the best player I can be. I have a lot of potential to be great. I don’t want to leave anything in the tank. I want to sell out and give my all."

"He knows what he has to do," said linebackers coach Matt Eberflus. "He has been working hard, doing the film study. Bruce is just working to be the best that he can be. And when you set clear-cut goals for him and clear-cut things in terms of practice goals, he works to obtain those things and get better."

Along with Henry Melton, Bruce Carter has the heavy expectations of needing to play well in this scheme. The 3-tech and the Will need to be superstars to make this work the way it should.

But having a decent secondary wouldn't hurt. That's where Brandon Carr's chip comes into play. He knows last year wasn't good enough for him personally.

"I wouldn’t put it as my top three years - last season," Carr said. "But it was good for me to get me back humble and get back to that grind – that chip on my shoulder. I took a beating last year, both on and off the field sometimes. I accept it. That fuel just added to the fire this offseason as far as me preparing myself and getting ready for this long journey."

That's a pretty candid admission for an NFL player. But Carr feels that he, and his fellow corners, have what it takes to rise to the top of the league.

A few weeks ago, Carr was quoted as saying, "I’m trying to take over the league." On Monday, Carr clarified, but he’s certainly not taking back the statement. He’s just adding a few other players to the quote. "I said myself, I know I should’ve said ‘we,’ because it’s a team sport," Carr said, referring to fellow cornerbacks such as Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne. "Hopefully my mentality can trickle over to the other guys. No one expects us to do well. So let’s take it over. We have all the tools, the camaraderie and the chemistry should be well."

I don't think anybody denies the talent of Carr, Carter and a few other guys who had poor years in 2013. But can they really turn it around in 2014? Maybe carrying around that chip on their shoulder will help.

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