The Cowboys can rave about the progress Bruce Carter made last year, but until they see him actually play defense on more than a handful of snaps in a game, they don’t really know what Carter is about. They think they know, but they don’t know.
So adding Connor, who has some starting experience, is football savvy and can play special teams, is a solid move.
It also keeps Carter hungry.
If the Cowboys did not address the inside linebacker spot, then Carter would have known he was the guy by default. And even if Brooking had returned, it would have been difficult to see him as a starter, so Carter would have won the job.
Jason Garrett endlessly talks about creating competition throughout the roster. This creates competition for Carter to show the coaches he’s ready, to work harder in the offseason and show skeptics he was worth the second-round pick the Cowboys used on him last spring.