Cowboys notes: Ernie Sims expects to start at weakside linebacker

Posted Thursday, Oct. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Dallas Cowboys coaches said Bruce Carter didn’t play up to his potential Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. He agrees.

“I would say it’s one of the worst games I’ve had since I was a Cowboy,” Carter said Thursday. “I just wasn’t focused. I didn’t come out with a lot of spark. That’s just something I have to learn from and move on.”

Because of that, Carter might have lost his starting job. Ernie Sims expects to start at weakside linebacker against the Denver Broncos after splitting practice reps with Carter this week.

“On the board, they’ve got me starting,” Sims said. “You never know what happens, but I know one thing, I’m preparing as if I’m starting and playing the whole game. …The way I see it right now, I’m the starter, and I feel like I’m going to play the whole game, and I’m going to do good at it.”

Carter, who is in his third season, was beaten for two touchdowns by Chargers running back Danny Woodhead. For the season, Carter is tied for fifth in the NFL in receptions allowed, having given up 17 catches for 228 yards and three touchdowns, according to STATS.

Carter was pulled for most of the second half. Though he is playing with a slight foot injury, Carter’s play had more to do with his seat on the bench.

“It’s frustrating. I definitely want to play,” he said. “I don’t take nothing away from him. Ernie is my guy. I love him like a brother. I want to go out there just as much as he does, but if they feel like that, I don’t know, it’s out of my hands. I’ll say that.”

Starting strongside linebacker Justin Durant has missed practice this week with a groin injury, but the Cowboys likely will play a lot in their nickel defense against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Austin still out

Receiver Miles Austin missed practice again Thursday, casting doubt about his availability for Sunday.

Austin, who missed six games in 2011 with hamstring issues, strained his hamstring in the victory over the Rams on Sept. 22.

Defensive end George Selvie (concussion) did not practice, but he is expected to play. Backup defensive end Edgar Jones (groin) also didn’t practice.

Receiver/punt returner Dwayne Harris (hip) was limited Thursday.

DeMarcus Ware (back), Bruce Carter (foot) and Morris Claiborne (shoulder) were full participants.

Williams tries to forget

Terrance Williams didn’t start last week in Miles Austin’s absence, but he did play 51 of 59 snaps against the Chargers.

He made seven catches for 71 yards, but he also had a drop and a lost fumble.

Williams hasn’t adhered to the 24-hour rule in the wake of his fumble near the goal line recovered for a touchback as the Cowboys were trying to come back in the late stages of the 31-20 loss.

“It’s still in the back of my mind,” the rookie receiver said. “If there would have been a different situation, I would have never done that. I just didn’t see the corner coming, and if I would have seen him coming, I would have never stuck the ball out.”

Williams said from now on, he is going to get what he can, then hit the ground.

“Once I have a first down or a good play, it’s just time to get down and live for the next play instead of trying to do too much,” Williams said. “I have to just continue catching the ball, looking at it all the way through before I make the move. And once I feel like I got the first down or got good yardage, just get down.”

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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