- Chris Forsberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Patriots DE Andre Carter brings down Jets QB Mark Sanchez.FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After spending the last five seasons with the Washington Redskins, you might expect Patriots defensive end Andre Carter to still have a little hatred for the Dallas Cowboys after being immersed in that rivalry. But his short time in New England has allowed him to view the bigger picture.
"Everybody always asks me, being a Washington Redskin and having been in that battle, is that kind of rivalry still in me?" said Carter. "I think my mentality now that I am a Patriot, I think that every week you just have to have that same [even-keeled] mentality, whoever you go up against."
That hasn't stopped Carter from dispensing a few bits of insight, particularly to his other defensive lineman after playing 10 games against the Cowboys during his time with the Redskins.
"As far as film study, we've been on point," said Carter. "I do have a few pointers, but I think that, just in regards to our study, we've been dead-on, just constantly learning about what they're trying to do."
Carter knows better than anyone the troubles quarterback Tony Romo presents, particularly with his feet and making the most of broken plays. He stressed how important it will be for the defensive ends to keep him contained. Carter also spoke to the balance that Dallas often operates with and the need to once again limit the rushing attack.
You can make the case that Carter has been one of the Patriots' best defensive player so far this season (in fact, analytical site Pro Football Focus grades him as New England's top performer and it's not even close). He's only been credited with a half sack, but Carter has been one of the most consistent in terms of putting pressure on the quarterback this season. He's also excelled in run defense and is the defensive line's leading tackler with 19 stops this season.
But like the defense overall, Carter sees room for improvement in his own play.
"We’re still learning, just like every other team is still learning," said Carter. "We have to continue to be hungry and strive for perfection. Each week is a challenge, but we can constantly get better."