Bobby Carpenter: Choose a Door

Jabber HeadSenior Analyst IApril 5, 2009

Bobby Carpenter was on the cusp of being a physical linebacker, while part of a very good group of Ohio State linebackers. Once he arrived in Dallas, he accepted a more cerebral approach to the physicality involved.

He has never discarded that mental aspect to his game.

His aggressiveness doesn’t own up to the demands of playing the inside position for a 3-4. That requires the ability to challenge and attack opposing game actions. He is not explosive enough on the outside, to push for a positional move, unless there were a glut of injury there.

He would have an easier time in a 4-3 system where he could do more running to the ball, but that doesn’t dispel his lack of fitting the system here.

When he was drafted by Bill Parcells, he had the label of being the most rounded linebacker with multiple aspects to be used…with Dallas, he could make plays in a mop up role, but never challenged opposing defenses.

Over time, some players get a mental edge where they own up to the aggressive demands of the sport…with Bobby Carpenter, he appears to remain ‘cerebral’. That may still pay off in coverage responsibilities, but then again, better receiver skill sets in tight ends and backs today could well spell his end in that role as well.

He has run the gamut of wishful contributions. Even a ‘downfield’ linebacker with less credential, but aggression, is more dependable that what is in Carpenter right now. No matter how we fans wish him to be the next ‘Prince Valiant’.

To me, linebacker and maybe a pair with different skill sets, is a necessity going into this upcoming draft.

Almost all Cowboy fans wish and even hope that he takes the direction of high intensity and stardom with the Dallas Cowboys, but for now, he has three doors:

1. Do nothing more intense as to personal commitment, and move on either after training camp or by next season.

2. Become more introverted and get cut prior to the completion of training camp.

3. Forge a observable role within the Cowboy’s defensive scheme, and start his real climb in the family role with Dallas.


Right now, the opportunity is all in his hands, if he has the skill set, he should pull out all restraints and act as if this were indeed HIS rookie season, with everything on the line.

We shall shortly see how he chooses. Player additions such as Olshansky and Brooking could well push influences that assist him in his change...then again, he may just long to be with the Cowboy’s in Florida where he feels warm fuzzies. We all shall see shortly...

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