Taco Charlton, the Dallas Cowboys’ 1st-Round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, has no doubt been looking forward to this season to try and get his career back on track. But reports today, plus Taco’s own social media activity, suggest the third-year defensive end will not be suiting up against the New York Giants in tomorrow’s season opener.
What does this inactive status mean for Charlton’s future in Dallas? Is it a sign that he’s about to get traded?
Source tells @dmn_cowboys Taco Charlton will be inactive for Giants game. He did sprain an ankle in 3 preseason game but has recovered enough to practice.
Not only has Taco been a full participant this week in practice, but the Cowboys haven’t even bothered to list him on their official injury reports this week. That makes it pretty clear his ankle is not the reason he won’t be playing tomorrow.
If there was any skepticism about this report, Charlton confirmed it with a few posts from his Twitter account a few hours ago.
Based on their numbers throughout the roster, Dallas is unlikely to sit any of their other defensive ends tomorrow. That means players such as rookie Joe Jackson, second-year prospect Dorance Armstrong, and veteran free agent Kerry Hyder are likely playing over Taco Charlton.
That says a lot about where Taco stands with the Cowboys right now. But it could also indicate that Dallas is trying to protect him from injury so they can execute a trade.
There is a two-week window before veteran Robert Quinn, an assumed starter this year, returns from a PED suspension. The Cowboys are likely hoping to move Charlton to a new team to make room for Quinn, and that couldn’t happen if Taco gets hurt.
With two years left on his rookie deal and the potential for a 5th-year option, Charlton may still have value somewhere in the NFL. It doesn’t hurt that he just had a big game in the third preseason week against the Houston Texans.
What the Cowboys could get for Taco at this point is hard to say. It certainly won’t be a 1st or 2nd-round pick, but recouping some sort of draft value at this point would be wise given Charlton’s disappointing play the last two years.
So, how much longer will Taco Charlton be a Dallas Cowboy? Based on today’s activity, perhaps only another week or so. But if the Cowboys don’t get a decent offer, they could still elect to keep Taco as depth and try again in the offseason.
We’ll know soon enough.