Ernie Sims, Alex Albright to get some snaps

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys will use Bruce Carter and Dan Connor as the starters at inside linebacker with Sean Lee out for the season with a toe injury.

Carter is the strong side linebacker who will call the defensive signals with Conner being the weakside linebacker.

But there's more to this.

Connor's special team snaps will decrease because of his increased time on defense.

"It's one of the reasons Dan is here, to be a veteran guy who can play inside linebacker in the two spots," coach Jason Garrett said prior to Wednesday's practice. "He's played a lot of football in this league, been a special teams contributor for us and a spot defensive player so far for us. He did a good job in the game against Carolina the other day, and he's just going to play more."

Alex Albright, who has split time between inside and outside linebacker, will most likely get more snaps inside, and newly signed Ernie Sims will take some special teams snaps away from Connor.

"Really, what we need to do is just sort out where he is physically and how ready he can be and what role he can play, both on special teams and on our defense," Garrett said of Sims. "But, typically, those linebackers have to have an ability to play on (special) teams, and we've been fortunate this year, a lot of our guys have been able to do that, and the guys who are playing more on defense will probably play a little bit less on special teams and vice versa."