Bruce Carter takes over the defense

IRVING, Texas -- It's not season-ending, but starting middle linebacker Sean Lee is out for three-to-four weeks with a pulled hamstring. That means the Dallas Cowboys will move Ernie Sims to middle linebacker and Bruce Carter will remain as the weakside linebacker.

Carter will also take over the signal-calling duties for the defense.

"When Sean is out, I feel like the defense is on me and I have to get those guys going and be the leader for the defense," Carter said. "And lead by example and go out there and get people fired up."

It's been a frustrating season for Carter. After starting the first four games of the season, he was benched in the second half for the San Diego Chargers game. He didn't start the next week against Denver, but regained the starting gig for the next three weeks. Against Minnesota, Carter watched from the sidelines as Sims was the weakside starting linebacker. Carter and Sims shared time in the second half of that game.

Two weeks ago, at New Orleans, Carter regained the starting job again, and now with injuries not only to Lee but strong side linebacker Justin Durant, Carter is back at the top of the depth chart.

The defensive coaches have had nothing but praise for Carter given his skill-set and how he's handled the in-and-out play of things.

Carter is relishing the chance to hold the starting job for the rest of the season.

"When you're in-and-out, you don’t really have a focus or a tempo for the game," Carter said. "You coming in-and-out when you're in there, you kinda feel the tempo and your playing really well. It's kinda of a sense thing. Going in-and-out is pretty frustrating."