There was a lot of doom and gloom surrounding the Cowboys defense when inside linebacker Sean Lee has season ending toe surgery. And that was from inside and outside the Cowboys because Lee did everything for the Cowboys' defense. He was far and away the leading tackler, signal caller and vocal leader.
As the Cowboys head into Sunday's game against Cleveland Browns, the doom and gloom has been replaced by the bright shining light of emerging star Bruce Carter at inside linebacker. He has taken over for Lee as the signal caller and leading tackler while becoming a standout playmaker that no one envisioned, not even defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
"I never thought he’d have the ascension that Sean Lee did," Ryan said. "But he has. He has. That’s the bottom line. This guy's become a hell of a football player right in front of our eyes this season. I wouldn’t have predicted that. Absolutely not. But he is a tremendous football player. He’s playing as fast as his great athleticism allows him to play. He’s smart. He works hard. I mean, this guy’s phenomenal. Is he already a great player? Yes he is. And he’s getting better, just like Sean did last season. It’s amazing."
Asked which of his former players Carter reminds him of, Ryan was stumped because of Carter's unique ability to play the run as well as cover the pass.
"That’s a tough one, cause I've never seen a guy with his cover ability," Ryan said. "Seth Joyner is the best i can think of, with his cover ability. He hits. He’s got passion for the game. The sky’s the limit for this guy. Again, would I have been able to predict that before the season? Absolutely not. The guy keeps getting better and better each week. This kid has really become special."