By Matthew Postins
The news just keeps getting worse for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys moved linebacker Bruce Carter to injured reserve on Monday due to an elbow injury that will require surgery. Carter suffered the injury during the Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins.
Carter is the eight different Cowboy to move to injured reserve this year. Carter is one of four defensive starters on IR, including linebacker Sean Lee, defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman and safety Barry Church. Chris Jones, who began the season as the starting punter, is also on IR.
Head coach Jason Garrett lamented Carter’s loss during Monday’s press conference.
“Carter was playing awfully well,” Garrett said. “He really developed into a good player. He’s athletic and that makes him a really good matchup against tight ends and running backs in pass coverage. Where he really developed was his ability to stop the run. He makes plays all over the field. When Sean went down he took over more responsibility in communication and he handled it really well.”
The Cowboys will now turn to outside linebacker Anthony Spencer as the defensive signal-caller when the Cowboys play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. Meanwhile Garrett said that Dan Connor, Ernie Sims and Alex Albright would handle the two inside linebacker positions.
The Cowboys are seriously banged up entering this game. Ten players are dealing with some kind of injury this week, including defensive lineman Jason Hatcher (concussion), cornerback Orlando Scandrick (hand), wide receiver Miles Austin (hip), tackle Tyron Smith (ankle), center Phil Costa (ankle), running back DeMarco Murray (foot), center Ryan Cook (knee), nose tackle Jay Ratliff (groin), wide receiver Kevin Ogletree (concussion) and defensive tackle Sean Lissemore (ankle).
The only player Garrett ruled out for the game was Scandrick, who has surgery on his wrist over the weekend. Garrett said that Mike Jenkins would take Scandrick’s slot cornerback role on Sunday.
He also sounded optimistic about Smith’s return, as he backed up Jeremy Parnell against Washington.
The Cowboys made a bevy of roster moves on Monday. To provide depth to the linebacking corps, the Cowboys signed Brady Poppinga, a six-year veteran who was with the Rams last year. The Cowboys also released wide receiver Andre Holmes and signed wide receiver Anthony Armstrong. The three-year veteran was last with Miami and Garrett said they expect him to help at wide receiver and on special teams. The Cowboys also moved rookie wide receiver Danny Coale from the practice squad to the practice squad IR and signed cornerback Reggie Evans to the practice squad.
Garrett deflected a question about owner and general manager Jerry Jones’ comments that doubted the Cowboys could reach 8-8 this season. To do so Cowboys would need to win three of their final five games.