The Cowboys have reached a deal with second round pick, linebacker Bruce Carter. The deal is for four years, with terms yet to be disclosed. The UNC standout is not expected to participate in practice, as Cowboys VP Stephen Jones hinted he may end up starting the season on the non-football injury list. Carter is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered late in the collegiate season.
The Cowboys turned right around and reached an agreement with their third round pick, RB DeMarco Murray. Both players are expected at tomorrow morning's walk through. Unknown to most, Murray injured his hamstring working out over the summer, and is expected to miss 1-2 weeks. It's not a serious injury, but that means he doesn't hit the practice field until the preseason is in full swing.
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It is now official, all eight rookies have now been signed. Four practiced today as reported by SportsDayDFW:
Fourth-round pick David Arkin and sixth-round pick Dwayne Harris were participating at Thursday afternoon's practice, meaning that the Cowboys have signed both rookies.
Earlier in the day, first-round pick Tyron Smith, a tackle, and fullback Shaun Chapas, who was selected in the seventh round, signed with the Cowboys. They also took part in practice Thursday afternoon.
Bill Nagy and Josh Thomas have also signed.
Earlier in the offseason, I opined Carter might not see 85 defensive snaps during the 2011 season. Even before Jones' remarks today, reports hinted that it will be some time before Carter sees any significant playing time on defense. Archer even hints that his return could take longer than last year's second round pick Sean Lee. The positive of the signing, for now, is that Carter's rehab now takes place under the supervision of strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik, Mr. Six Blings.
If Lee maintains full health, the Cowboys appear able to bring Carter along slowly. The team has committed to giving equal shares of snaps to Lee, Bradie James and Keith Brooking. Kenwin Cummings and Leon Williams would appear to be the leading candidates for the fourth inside linebacker coming out of camp.
Murray's absence means that Lonyae Miller and Phillip Tanner will get plenty of reps, as they get pushed up the depth charts. These are the opportunities that turn into careers for undrafted free agent types. Running back is the easiest position for an unheralded player to make a quick impact, although Jason Garrett's passing scheme prioritizes blocking by backs.