Big news coming out of Dallas today, as it has been reported unless a trade is made in the coming hours, the Cowboys will release 2017 first-round pick, Taco Charlton. Charlton was heralded out of Michigan for his rare blend of size, speed, and ability to get to the quarterback. However, he hasn’t found his footing in Dallas (obviously) and has only accumulated 46 tackles, four sacks, and one forced fumble. So what gives? Why do we care about this guy?
He’s a freak of nature, for one.
Charlton stands a menacing 6’6″, 275 pounds, and ran a 4.8 at his Pro Day. He’s almost a prototype Edge Rusher in terms of his body and athletic ability. Guys his size don’t grow on trees, and they certainly don’t come available for free during Week 3 of the NFL Season.
With Charlton being a healthy scratch last week and Robert Quinn returning this week, Charlton’s days wearing a star on the helmet are done. So why not roll the dice on this guy? If he comes in and gives the Falcons four sacks, he’s worth whatever they pay him. Takk McKinley and Adrian Clayborn are serviceable players on that side of the field, but what if Dan Quinn can transform Charlton into a stand-up edge rusher? What if his problem in Dallas wasn’t his ability, but schematic fit and usage?
Charlton has had trouble getting on the field, but when he does, he’s graded out pretty well, according to PFF. In 2018, he finished the season as a 66.5, which is considered above average. For a team that desperately needs help getting to the quarterback (even though the pass rush has been improving), this is about as low of a risk and as high of a reward move you can make during the season, and there is no such thing as having too much depth across the defensive line. If Charlton plays up to his potential, he could take over Vic Beasley’s role after this season as well.
Oh, in case you still aren’t convinced, here’s his Taco Stand sack celebration.
Taco Charlton’s taco stand celebration will always be one of my favorites pic.twitter.com/9XEyiU5sOE
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 18, 2019