Bobby Carpenter's days as Cowboys player could be coming to an end.
According to several sources, the Cowboys are in talks with the Rams about trading Carpenter for tackle Alex Barron in what essentially would be a swapping of two former first-round disappointments.
Carpenter has started just one game since being picked in the first round of the 1996 draft. He was never able to find a role and used primarily as a special teams player last season when he finally settled in as the team's nickle linebacker.
However, Carpenter became expendable after the Cowboys drafted linebacker Sean Lee in the second round of the 2010 draft. Lee is expected to be the primary backup at inside linebacker and also serve as the nickel linebacker. The Cowboys also expect 2009 third-round pick Jason Williams to have a bigger role at inside linebacker this season.
Carpenter, who had 48 tackles and two sacks last season, could benefit from the change of scenery. He is considered a better fit for te 4-3 defense, which the Rams employ.
Change could be good for Barron as well, a first round pick in 2005, who was made expendable when the Rams drafted Rodger Saffold in the second of the 2010 draft, one year after taking tackle Jason Smith in the first round.
Barron had problems with holding penalties and false starts last year _ he had five of each _ and he also gave up 7.5 sacks.
But he is durable, missing just two games in his career. He has started 74 games in five seasons at both right and left tackle, including all 16 games at left tackle in 2007 and 2009 and 15 games at right tackle in 2008.
Barron would give the Cowboys experienced depth at tackle. He is better than current backups Pat
McQuistan, Robert Brewster and sixth round pick Sam Young. And he has more experience than and could provide insurance for tackle Doug Free, who is slated to start left tackle for the first time in place of the departed Flozell Adams.
Barron would have to sign his $2.62 restricted free agent tender to make the deal happen.