When Bobby Carpenter was traded in the off-season, the Dallas Cowboys were hoping one of several players could take Carpenter’s place in the nickel package -- most notably rookie Sean Lee.
As it turns out, however, Cowboys coach Wade Phillips has been more comfortable with veterans Keith Brooking and Bradie James playing in third down situations.
James is only 29, but Brooking is 35 and the concern Phillips has is if the two veterans play extended minutes, they could wear down at the end of the season.
So Phillips is considering an alternate approach -- perhaps playing Lee -- and perhaps Jason Williams and Leon Williams -- earlier in each series.
“Maybe substitute for [Brooking and james] on first and second down,” Phillips said. “But if we can’t stop the plays on first and second down, we may go the other direction. It just depends on who comes along and how well they come along.”
Lee has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury but has been practicing and should be ready to play when the Cowboys host Jacksonville on Oct. 10.
“I feel comfortable with him playing in the game,” Phillips said of Lee. “I think he’s ready to play.”
-- Jan Hubbard