Carpenter's finally contributing to defense

Updated: November 2, 2009, 5:46 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon

If you judge Bobby Carpenter based on being drafted in the first round, he's a bust.

If you judge Carpenter based on his performance as a nickel linebacker, he hasn't been bad at all.

Teams don't pick players in the first round hoping they'll develop into solid nickel linebackers a few years later. Carpenter hasn't come close to justifying the decision made by Jerry Jones and Bill Parcells to make him the 18th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

But we knew entering the season ...

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