- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas – As far as Sean Lee's running mate goes, the Cowboys have gone from a couple of old, beat-up pickups to a new truck with a Hemi under the hood.
Bruce Carter might be able to backpedal faster than Bradie James and Keith Brooking can run straight ahead at their advanced age. Carter reportedly ran a 4.39 40 at North Carolina before tearing his ACL his senior season, an injury that caused him to slip to the second round, where the Cowboys considered him a Lee-like steal.
“We are faster,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday on KRLD-FM. “There’s no question when you look at No. 54 Carter out there, who is the fastest inside linebacker in the NFL, maybe the fastest linebacker, period. He adds speed. It’s a big difference out there.”
Carter won a training camp competition with free agent addition Dan Connor to start next to Lee. Judging by the snap counts in the season opener, it wasn’t much of a contest.
Carter played 30 of the Cowboys’ 56 defensive snaps. Connor played just four.
Don’t expect that to change. Carter played a significant role in an outstanding defensive performance, getting credited for five tackles, including a couple of times he stuffed tailback Ahmad Bradshaw at the line of scrimmage.
“You can see that Bruce is somebody that can really run to the football,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He makes a lot of plays sideline to sideline.”