Quite a difference for Bruce Carter

IRVING, Texas -- A year ago today, Bruce Carter made his NFL debut after starting his rookie season on the non-football injury list due to a knee injury suffered his senior year at North Carolina.

He had one tackle against Philadelphia, playing mostly a special teams role.

With Sean Lee out for the year because of toe surgery, Carter is now the defensive signal caller.

“It’s a whole lot different,” Carter said. “Last year I was just kind of nervous coming in playing in the NFL and in my first game. This year I’m really in the mix and in a situation that’s kind of different with Sean being out. I’m just trying to take it one play at a time, study as much as I can and make sure everybody is on the right track.”

In Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants, Carter could feel more eyes on him in Lee’s role and he finished with seven tackles, a tackle for loss and one pass breakup, earning praise from coach Jason Garrett.

With Dan Connor unlikely to play at Atlanta because of a stinger in back to back games, Carter will have to break in a new inside linebacker partner in either Orie Lemon or Ernie Sims.

“I still feel like I’m young and got a lot of my game ahead of me,” Carter said. “I’m still learning every day. I’m learning a lot from Sean and from coach (Matt Eberflus) and Rob (Ryan).”