IRVING, Texas (AP) – Bobby Carpenter now has to be more than Bill Parcells’ personal water fetcher and a special teams player for the Dallas Cowboys.
With the loss of starting linebacker Greg Ellis to a torn Achilles tendon, Carpenter is hopeful that he finally gets a chance to have a bigger impact on defense.
“I’m not going to view this as the be-all to end-all to my opportunity to play,” Carpenter said Wednesday. “Hopefully, the coaches will have enough confidence in me to get me out on the field. If that happens, you have to be ready when that opportunity comes.”
Carpenter said he hasn’t been told by Parcells how his role will change, but the first-round pick said he did more on defense in practice Wednesday.
Parcells calls replacing Ellis “a big piece of the puzzle” in preparing for the undefeated Indianapolis Colts (9-0), who visit the Cowboys (5-4) this weekend.
There are options beside Carpenter. Al Singleton has been primarily a special teams player, but started seven games last year before a season-ending injury, and nickel linebacker Kevin Burnett could take over. Junior Glymph was re-signed for depth last month but hasn’t played.
“We are going to evaluate it at the end of the week and see what’s going to happen,” Parcells said.
Asked about Carpenter, Parcells said, “He’s doing fine. … Maybe he’ll get his chance.”
Carpenter was the 18th overall pick by the Cowboys last April, an easy choice for Parcells because he was a solid defender at Ohio State and his dad, Rob, was a fullback for the New York Giants and Parcells.