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LB Carpenter might still have "the makeup"

Bill Parcells likes some players because they have, "the makeup." No, we're not talking eyeliner or lipstick here -- although some of your responses suggest some of you guys would like that. The makeup is about a player's disposition, work ethic, desire, ability, intelligence and other things that make him successful.

Of course, Parcells misses on some of these guys, but sometimes the guys Parcells identifies as having, "the makeup," don't succeed only because they're not given the right opportunity, or perhaps they are sidtracked by injuries. As Curley of the Three Stooges would say, they're victims of circumstances.

Bobby Carpenter might be one such player. When he was in Dallas, Parcells picked Carpenter with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2006 draft. Carpenter, 6-2 and 250 pounds, didn't blossom in the one year Parcells was there and has fallen behind on the depth chart the past couple of seasons.

Last year the Cowboys wanted inside linebacker help and they signed Zach Thomas. This year, they're talking of trying to sign Ray Lewis. Carpenter is seemingly never in the conversation.

And that might make Carpenter, bordering on becoming a bust in Dallas, a possible Parcells target in the coming weeks as the Dolphins search for inside linebacker help. Understand that the Dolphins showed mild interest in trading for Carpenter last season but the Cowboys rebuffed the overtures.

But after yet another season of unmet expectations in which Carpenter played only 13 games without any starts and was almost exclusively a special teams player, the Cowboys might be ready to cut their losses on this player.They would surely listen to overtures up until the April draft.

And if the Cowboys are willing, you can bet one person on the other end of the phone ringing in Jerry Jones' office might be Parcells. It should not surprise.

Parcells and Jones made significant trades last year when Jason Ferguson, Akin Ayodele and Anthony Fasano came to Miami in exchange for draft choices. All those trades worked for the Dolphins so why wouldn't Parcells make a play for Carpenter?

You might argue Carpenter isn't worthy of the trouble. After all, he hasn't shown the physical ability to take on and shed blockers, and his reaction time to the ballcarrier has seemed slow at times. That isn't a problem if you play receiver. But for a linebacker? It's a problem.

But what if Carpenter just needs some different coaching? What if he needs the delicate touch and mild mannered encouragement the Dolphins staff would apply?

Didn't it work for Fasano? The tight end was considered something of a bust in Dallas after being picked in the second round in 2006. But in Miami he caught six more passes in 2008 than he did in his first two seasons in Dallas -- 34 receptions compared to 28. Fasano blossomed in Miami.

Carpenter might also.

For perspective, please understand what we're talking about here: Despite his first-round pedigree, Carpenter wouldn't bring anything near a first day pick in return. He is a 7th-round pick or 6th-round pick kind of trade bait. Unlike receiver Miles Austin, another Cowboys player and a restricted free agent the Dolphins have interest in and I told you about weeks ago, Carpenter would come cheap or not at all.

The Cowboys would be trading to cut their losses. Parcells would be trading to try and see if the spark of talent he spotted years ago might actually kindle into a flame.

I'm not saying it is definitely going to happen. But don't be surprised if it does.