The Colts “steal” a prospect from the Los Angeles practice squad.

Yesterday Wednesday another blow to the defense of Dallas was consumed. The Indianapolis Colts signed rookie Ron’Dell Carter, who was part of the Cowboys’ practice squad.

Carter, who plays defensive end, came to the Cowboys as a free agent after the 2020 Draft. Yet he was one of the most coveted players on the practice team. After not having greater opportunities in the cowboy team, the player finalized his contract with Dallas. This was taken advantage of by the Colts, who did not hesitate to seize the rookie to incorporate him to their active roster.

Who is Ron’Dell Carter? And why was it so coveted?

Although he was not selected by any team in the 2020 Draft, Ron’Dell Carter is a developmental prospect who was on many teams’ schedules. And the reasons are obvious.

Carter began his college football career at Rutgers in 2015, although he didn’t get it off on the right foot. In his first year he did not play, this after being designated as a redshirt. The following year he only participated in five games, recording two tackles, a half tack for turnover and a half sack.

This low involvement at Rutgers led Carter to seek opportunities in a more competitive NCAA division. In this way, the defensive end was transferred to James Madison University. There he became a prominent figure for the Dukes, also coinciding with Ben DiNucci, the Cowboys’ seventh-round pick in the 2020 Draft.

Playing for the Dukes, Carter definitely blew up. In three seasons (2017 to 2019) he participated in 44 games, 29 of them from the start. His statistics are remarkable: 152 tackles (of which 69 were solo), 48 tackles for turnover, 23.5 sacks, 4 passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovered.

However, his best year was 2019. In that season, Carter participated in 16 games leaving very good numbers: 12 sacks, 28 solo tackles, 38 assisted tackles, 27 turnover tackles, a forced fumble and a recovered fumble. This performance led to him being awarded the CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

Apart from his numbers, Carter has very remarkable characteristics as a defensive end: good variation when pressing the quarterback, great hand strength, good lateral movement, ability to convert speed into strength, and great ability in the ground attacks.

On the other hand, Ron’Dell Carter is also a very versatile player. He can line up both inside and out, and offers a good repertoire for taking on offensive players from different positions. This, without a doubt, is a valuable feature for any team that has it in their ranks.

Carter protected in the Cowboys

For all this, it is no wonder why Ron’Dell Carter was so coveted by many teams. In fact, the Cowboys were aware of it. They knew they had a prospect in their hands that they had to maximize. And you don’t always find one of these among the UDFAs (undraft rookies).

Therefore, the treatment of Carter was different from that of other UDFAs. In fact, his contract was the juiciest among those rookies: a base salary of $ 125,000 plus a signing bonus of $ 20,000.

In addition, Carter was one of the protected players on the Cowboys practice squad for the first three weeks of the season. However, everything changed this week.

Why did the Colts “rob” Carter?

Under the regulations, each NFL team can protect up to four players from its practice squad each week. This is in order to prevent valuable members of said squad from being taken over by other teams just before each game.

Besides, and due to the Covid-19 prevention protocols, there are slight changes. Teams must indicate their protected list no later than Tuesday, being free again just at the end of the week’s game. This is done because, in case a team decides to take a player, they have time to pass the Covid-19 tests to join their new team that same week.

Now what did the Colts do? The Indianapolis team had already made contacts with the player’s agent before Tuesday. In addition, Carter terminated his contract with the Cowboys on Monday, this in search of having more participation in another team.

Despite his salary and being protected, Carter did not get the opportunities he hoped for. Although the season was just beginning, casualties in the western defense could open the doors for the roster. But it was not like that.

In this way, the Colts add one of the most coveted prospects left by the 2020 Draft to their roster. No doubt, the Cowboys will regret not taking advantage of the talent that Ron’Dell Carter offers while they still had it. And if the defense of the cowboy team does not improve their level, they may regret it even more.