Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 6/12/13
IRVING, Texas -- When Dallas drafted Bruce Carter in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, many wondered why the Cowboys rolled the dice on a linebacker who was coming off an ACL injury during his final season at North Carolina and a player many felt was a reach in the second round of the draft. After not playing much as a rookie, Carter proved his worth to the Dallas defense last season, finishing second on the team with 70 tackles before an elbow injury in late November sent him to Injured Reserve and ended his second NFL season a bit earlier than he and the Cowboys had hoped. However, that was last year and this ex-Tar Heel is now back on the field, where he and the rest of the defense are busy learning the ins and outs of the new 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and thus far, it's a transition that is going well. "Well, for one our scheme is a big change as far as moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3, we have a lot more stunts and stuff that we're doing. Guys are still getting adjusted to it and getting to where it's second nature, but other than that it's still football. "I'm playing a different position as far as moving from mike to weak side linebacker, but other than that it's still football," Carter said. He added: "Last year, me and Sean Lee had to take on guards a lot. But other than that, we still just line up and play football." In Kiffin's new scheme, the 25-year-old linebacker will be moving to the weak side, a move which he feels will allow him to be an even more effective player. "It allows me to show my athleticism, show what I do, run to the ball with my speed and all the tools that I have," Carter said. Before meeting Kiffin this off-season, he didn't know much about him other than his stellar reputation as the architect of the vaunted Tampa Two defense. But now that he has been working with his new coordinator for several months, he has come to appreciate not only the seemingly endless bank of football knowledge the 73-year-old coordinator brings to the Dallas defense, but also the equally impressive amount of energy he brings to each and every practice and meeting. "He's a good guy. He's fired up. You wouldn't think a guy his age would be kind of quiet and what not, but he's a fired up guy," Carter said. "He's always getting everybody fired up coming into meetings and that's good." While the hiring of Kiffin has been the major change made to a Cowboy defense who has led by Rob Ryan, who is now in New Orleans, over the past few seasons, one familiar face who remained from the previous regime was Dallas linebackers coach Matt Eberflus, someone that this UNC product has enjoyed working with over the past two-plus years. "Coach 'Flus is a smart guy and he knows what he's doing. Technique is key when you're being coached by him," Carter said. "Having him from last year to this year is pretty good. You get a good feeling from that." Now that Bruce Carter is healthy, new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin as well as fans of America's Team can expect the third-year linebacker to do what he does best, make plays on the defensive side of the football. It doesn't matter if he's lining up in the 3-4 or the 4-3 Carter is definitely a talented and valuable member of the Dallas linebacking corps. And now that he and fellow 'backer Sean Lee are both completely healed, much is expected from both of them as well as the entire Cowboys defense in the coming season. However, hearing Carter say that the change in system is no big deal, which means he will now play on the weak side, a spot where he feels he will thrive and that it's still all about football has to make Dallas fans feel good. That's because if the transition to the 4-3 goes as seamless on the field as it has seemingly been off of it, not only could the Cowboy defense finally deliver on its immense potential, but more importantly, Dallas could return to the playoffs and maybe advance farther than past the opening round in 2014.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker