Dallas Cowboys

Bruce Carter fighting for a starting job?

Maligned linebacker Bruce Carter’s up and down season seem to be back on the declining slope.

Carter, who missed the three previous games with a quadriceps injury, played only 16 snaps against the Arizona Cardinals. Backup strongside linebacker Kyle Wilber played 25.

It’s also interesting to note that Carter was not one of the team’s two linebackers on the field in nickel situations. It was Rolando McClain and rookie Anthony Hitchens getting the call there.

“We were playing a lot of different guys at linebacker, a normal rotation and also having to deal with some injuries,’’ coach Jason Garrett said. “Kyle Wilber deserves some opportunities to play. We’re going to play the best guys and when you have a few different options. That’s good for your team, because you’re creating competition for roster spots and creating competition for playing time.’’

“Kyle did some good things; Bruce did some good things, so we’ll keep rotating those guys around and see who wants it more and see who deserves it more.”

The Cowboys had targeted Carter for the job at weakside linebacker to open training camp. He was then moved to strongside when Justin Durant took over at weakside and McClain went to the middle.

Now that Durant has been lost for the season, the Cowboys are using the more active and more instinctive Hitchens on the weakside.

Carter is now trying to hold off Wilber for the starting job on the strongside.

Now of the moves are a good sign for a fourth-year player in the final year of his contract.