Linebacker Bruce Carter had a foot injury in the second half against the Chargers, but coach Jason Garrett also criticized him for his play after two touchdown catches against him by running back Danny Woodhead.
“Bruce had some problems covering their guys,” Garrett said. “He didn’t cover him that well, and there some other things going on in our other coverage that he didn’t do quite enough of a good job on.”
Carter, apparently benched for the second half, played 48 snaps, and backup Ernie Sims played 27. But Garrett said the Cowboys planned for Sims to get some snaps in the game, and defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin said post-game that the Cowboys wanted to rotate players because of the heat.
Garrett was asked if effort was a part of Carter’s problem.
“Well, he just didn’t play as well as he needed to in the coverage game, whether it was zone coverage or some of the man coverage situations he was in,” Garrett said. “So you try to address that, you try to get it right. You thoroughly evaluate every single play – what he did right and what he did wrong on those plays, and try to get him to do them right. He wasn’t playing as aggressively as he normally plays, and sometimes when a guy makes plays on you, you get shaken a little bit. We keep talking about going to the next play regardless of what the result is. He didn’t do that well enough in the ball game.”
Garrett dismissed the idea of Carter struggling in the new 4-3 scheme, saying he has been playing well to this point.
“Just didn’t play to his capabilities,” Garrett said. “One of the best things he does is, he covers guys. He’s a very good athlete, and you have to use good technique to do that. You have to be fundamentally sound to do that, and they made some good plays. There’s no question about that. Philip threw the ball very well. Woodhead ran good routes and all of that. It’s a challenging situation to be in, but he’s capable of covering those guys well and just didn’t get it done.”
-- Carlos Mendez