Bobby Carpenter
refer to caption
Carpenter in 2011, while with the Lions.
No. 54, 52, 50, 59
Personal information
Born: (1983-08-01) August 1, 1983 (age 39)
Lancaster, Ohio, US
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:250 lb (113 kg)
Career information
High school:Lancaster (OH)
College:Ohio State (2002–2005)
NFL Draft:2006 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:167
Forced fumbles:0
Fumble recoveries:1
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at · PFR

Robert Joseph Carpenter, III (born August 1, 1983) is a former American football linebacker in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys,[1] Miami Dolphins,[2]Detroit Lions[3] and New England Patriots.[4] He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played college football at Ohio State.[5]

Early years

Carpenter attended Lancaster High School in Lancaster, Ohio, alma mater of Super Bowl champion Jim Cordle. In addition to being a football standout, he was also a member of the swim team. During his senior year, Carpenter was selected All-Ohio first-team in football, and also went to the District Finals in swimming.

College career

In 50 games at Ohio State University, Carpenter started 26 times. He registered 191 tackles (121 solos), 14.5 sacks and 23.5 for losses, two forced fumbles, seven passes deflected passes and three interceptions.[6]

In 2002, Carpenter played in every game as a true freshman. In 2003, Carpenter started three contests at strongside linebacker, totaling 37 tackles (24 solos), 4.5 sacks, 6.5 stops for losses and a pair of forced fumbles.

Carpenter was a full-time starter in 2004, lining up at strongside linebacker. He finished second on the team with 93 tackles (46 solos) and registered two sacks with 6.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He also deflected three passes and intercepted three others.

As a senior in 2005, Carpenter started first eleven games of the 2005 season, finishing fifth on the squad with 49 tackles and second on the team with eight sacks and 10.5 stops for losses, earning second-team All-Big Ten Conference honors. In the final game against Michigan, He fractured his right leg/ankle and was unable to play in the Fiesta Bowl.[7]

Professional career


Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press Wonderlic
6 ft 2 in
(1.88 m)
249 lb
(113 kg)
32 in
(0.81 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.66 s 4.31 s 6.88 s 22+12 in
(0.57 m)
10 ft 4 in
(3.15 m)
20 reps 25
All values from NFL Combine[8]

Dallas Cowboys

Carpenter was the Dallas Cowboys' first round selection (18th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft. It was later reported that head coach Bill Parcells influenced the organization into drafting him, based on his previous experience coaching his father, Rob Carpenter. His best game with the Cowboys came in a 2006 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, where he started at outside linebacker and recorded five tackles and three deflected passes.

In 2009, he took over the team's nickel linebacker role after playing mostly on special teams. Over his four-year stint with the Cowboys, Carpenter failed to establish a starting role, registering 96 tackles and 29 special teams tackles. In the fourth episode of the 2008 Hard Knocks series, Carpenter was continuously beaten in a pads and shorts practice by right tackle Marc Colombo. During that practice Colombo referred to him as "Barbie Carpenter", while also making fun of his shoulder length blonde hair.

St. Louis Rams

Carpenter was traded from the Dallas Cowboys to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for offensive tackle Alex Barron on May 10, 2010.[9] He was cut before the start of the season on September 4.

Miami Dolphins

On September 6, 2010, the Miami Dolphins signed Carpenter as a free agent, reuniting him with Bill Parcells, who drafted him with the Dallas Cowboys. He was waived on October 18, because of a mistake on his special teams blocking assignment against the Green Bay Packers, that came on the heels of two previous blocking assignment errors against the New England Patriots.[10]

Detroit Lions

Carpenter was signed as a free agent by the Detroit Lions on October 20, 2010.[11]

On October 2, 2011, Carpenter had six tackles, a pass deflected and made the play of the game, returning an interception for a touchdown, which sparked a second half come-from-behind victory against his former team, the Dallas Cowboys. The 24-point collapse was Dallas' largest blown lead in team history and eventually cost them a chance to qualify for the post-season.[12]

New England Patriots

On April 5, 2012, Carpenter was signed as a free agent by the New England Patriots. He was among the team's final pre-season cuts on September 1. After fellow linebacker Dont'a Hightower suffered a hamstring injury, the Patriots re-signed Carpenter on October 3.[13] He was released on October 31 after playing in four games for New England, mostly on special teams while registering two special teams tackles.

NFL statistics

2006 DAL 13 19 15 4 1.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2007 DAL 16 18 11 7 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2008 DAL 13 13 9 4 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2009 DAL 16 46 37 9 2.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
2010 MIA 5 10 9 1 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2010 DET 10 30 21 9 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
2011 DET 16 29 24 5 0.0 0 0 0 1 34 34 34 1 1
2012 NE 4 2 0 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 93 167 126 41 3.5 0 1 0 1 34 34 34 1 5


Personal life

Carpenter is the son of former Houston Oilers, New York Giants and Los Angeles Rams running back Rob Carpenter. Carpenter and his father both played for Bill Parcells. He has three younger brothers: Jonathan, Georgie and Nathan.

After completing his NFL career in 2013, Carpenter returned to Ohio State and completed his MBA with a specialization in Finance and Strategy. He is now an adjunct professor teaching a course at the Fisher College of Business in Private Equity.

Carpenter is currently a board member of the 2nd and Seven Foundation, which promotes literacy to second graders throughout Columbus, Ohio, and the nation, and heavily involved with the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer that has raised over $20 million for the James Cancer Hospital since 2008.

In April of 2022, Carpenter opened Carpenter Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electric in Columbus with co-owner Jeff Fry. He said it is a division of Freeland Contracting, which does large commercial jobs. Carpenter's company will focus on residential clients in central Ohio.[citation needed]


In 2013, Carpenter joined 97.1 The Fan in Columbus, Ohio and currently serves as a co-host on the morning show, Morning Juice, airing from 6am - 9am. During that time he also appear on Wall to Wall Sports for WBNS 10TV, which is also owned by Dispatch Media Group. Carpenter has worked the Ohio State Spring game since 2016 for BTN and has been a color analyst for ESPN 3 since 2017.

In 2018, Carpenter became a regular contributor to ESPN's Get Up, which airs daily from 8 AM to 10 AM EST.

In 2021, Carpenter became a regular on The Pat McAfee Show known as General Bob.


  1. ^ "What happened to Bobby Carpenter? The best, worst linebacker draft picks in Cowboys history". Dallas News. 2019-04-17. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  2. ^ Nelson, Chris J. "Miami Dolphins Sign Former Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Bobby Carpenter". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  3. ^ Schottey, Michael. "Detroit Lions: Bobby Carpenter Likely Headed Elsewhere After Linebacker Signings". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  4. ^ "Patriots release LB Bobby Carpenter". Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  5. ^ Buckeye, Cincinnati (2013-06-22). "Ohio State All Decade Team: Outside Linebackers". Land-Grant Holy Land. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  6. ^ Gutridge, Matt (2019-08-10). "Countdown: 21 Days Until Ohio State Football". Eleven Warriors. Retrieved 2020-07-27.
  7. ^ "Buckeyes' Laurinaitis handles initiation well". November 21, 2015. Retrieved November 21, 2015.
  8. ^ "Bobby Carpenter". 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2010-09-01.
  9. ^ "Carpenter is Traded to Rams". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Miami Dolphins release Bobby Carpenter after special teams gaffe". tribunedigital-sunsentinel. October 18, 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Detroit Lions' signings of Bobby Carpenter, Cody Wallace have a twist". October 21, 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  12. ^ Wywrot, Chrissie. "Lions beat Cowboys 34-30 in come-from-behind fashion". Detroit Lions Official Website. Archived from the original on 5 November 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Source: Bobby Carpenter set to return to Patriots". Comcast SportsNet - Archived from the original on 20 January 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  14. ^ "Bobby Carpenter Stats". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 30 January 2015.