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Cowboys Minicamp: Taco Charlton Impresses At LDE, Who Emerges At RDE?

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Minicamp: Taco Charlton Impresses At LDE, Who Emerges At RDE? 2

The Dallas Cowboys are one step closer to the 2017 season, having completed their OTAs and minicamp from The Star. Throughout these early summer weeks, the Cowboys’ rookies have had a chance to get acclimated to America’s Team. As has been the case throughout his initial draft process, 28th overall pick DE Taco Charlton has generated little to no buzz – although the pads have yet to come on for physical defenders like him to really shine.

There is little question that Taco Charlton is going to face a learning curve as he tries to take the next step as a pass rusher in the NFL – all young defensive ends do.

However, as expected, Charlton has reportedly made most of his flashes from his natural LDE position after being set up as the “answer at RDE” by Dallas’ brass following his selection.

Bryan Broaddus has been doing a terrific job as always of highlighting exactly what he’s seen from Taco so far at DallasCowboys.com, having this to say about his positional flexibility:

“Charlton had nice power battles with Tyron Smith on several snaps. Charlton was able to get his hand inside knocking Smith back, but the next play he wasn’t so lucky. Smith punched him with his left hand, which shocked Charlton, knocking him to the ground. When he was moved inside, Charlton’s best move was the spin, which caught the guards by surprise freeing him up on the rush and allowing him to get home.” – Bryan Broaddus

Cowboys Minicamp: Taco Charlton Impresses At LDE, Who Emerges At RDE? 3

I don’t think it will be long into training camp – if at all – until we see the Cowboys commit Charlton to the LDE position fully. Yes, there is the fact that any right rusher work he’s gotten so far has come against the best LT in the NFL in a healthy Tyron Smith, but upgrading the strong side end position with a talented rookie is far from a worst case scenario for Dallas.

Broaddus added this about the differences in Taco Charlton’s game at both DE spots:

“The last two days at left end, he just looks more natural and comfortable in the way he rushes.”

Cowboys Nation may collectively be disappointed at the very fact that the first round pick we all demanded be used on a pass rusher went to a player that will excel in less of a pass rushing spot, but this team is actually set up better than years past when it comes to Rod Marinelli’s rotation on the right side – especially if Charlton draws enough attention on the opposite edge.

Benson Mayowa

To start, there is last year’s sack leader and second-year player Benson Mayowa. With six sacks in his first season in the silver and blue, Mayowa certainly faced the challenge of adjusting to his new role as he was inactive for three weeks in the middle of the season before finishing strong.

The Cowboys will be looking for Mayowa to be an even bigger part of their DE rotation now, signing him to a three-year deal last season – clearly seeing some long-term development potential with the former Seahawk and Raider.

Of course, Marinelli’s patented rotation needs to have more than two capable bodies with fresh legs pressuring the pocket. Red-shirted in his rookie season with a back injury, Charles Tapper is ready to bring his speed and freaky athleticism to the Cowboys’ defensive line as well.

Dallas Cowboys: 5 Players To Watch At Rookie Minicamp 3

Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

Realistically, getting any valuable snaps out of Tapper at RDE to change up the looks opposing left tackles will see in dealing with Dallas pass rushers would be an invaluable addition to this defensive front in 2017.

Damontre Moore is also a new addition at the DE position, an “orphan” that’s bounced around the league as the Giants’ third round pick of 2013. Moore has fully embraced the opportunity to find a new home and fresh start with the Cowboys so far, fitting right in as a relentless rusher that chases down plays all across the field.

Lastly, there is always DeMarcus Lawrencealthough his time could be running out with the Cowboys very soon. To debate whether or not Lawrence fits best at LDE or RDE has become relatively unimportant now, as the Cowboys just need to see Lawrence line up for 16 games and get into form. Toeing the line as another potential second round bust, Lawrence at his best is more than capable of producing off the right edge.

Cowboys Minicamp: Taco Charlton Impresses At LDE, Who Emerges At RDE? 1

No, the Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t force rookie Taco Charlton to play a position where he has little chance of making an impact in his first season. A steady LDE does indeed improve this team’s pass rush, even if Charlton was incorrectly sold to us as the commitment at RDE the Cowboys have been – and continue to – put off.

As for actually generating pressure on the quarterback from the right side, the Cowboys seem to have an intriguing core of DEs eager to prove themselves as the RDE position as soon as training camp gets underway in Oxnard. When paired with a strong group of defensive tackles and a first round talent at one DE spot, this scrappy defensive line might not take the world by storm this season but should certainly show noticeable improvements.

Tell us what you think about “Cowboys Minicamp: Taco Charlton Impresses At LDE, Who Emerges At RDE?” in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!

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Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Pleasant NJ, no we’re not how you think we are. Host of “Upon Further Review” on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. You may @ me: @SeanMartinNFL.

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2 Comments
  • Randy Martin

    I’ve heard very little about D-Law during OTA’s and Mini-Camp and I saw his name in inactives (back). He had his 2nd back surgery this off-season and it seems pretty much everybody I’ve ever known that had a back problem that required surgery always had to deal with pain. I know under doctors care they can still have a productive career. Look no further than DeMarcus Ware who had back trouble early in his career and yet went on to carve his name as a sure HOF’er. I’m just a little concerned with how this back injury will impact his career. I also wonder about Tapper and his Pars defect. That was a genetic birth defect that caused him to miss the season last year but with survey is it permanently fixed or can we expect that to be a problem? I do feel better than most about this D-line and look for them to fall in as a top 10 overall season. Lets not forget that they were #1 against the run last year and with added speed across the defense I think there is a lot to be hopeful about.

  • dallas1966

    Sean, your insightful information regarding the Cowboys defensive lineman, is spot on.

    I truly believe that the light bulb has finally turned on, regarding D. Moore, @ RDE. I like the way he is committing himself, both physically and mentally, in bringing the heat for the Cowboys.
    D. Moore, could finally be the unexpected War Daddy, that Jerry, has been looking for, over these past few years.

    This Cowboys teams foundation is on a mission to bring Mr. Jones, that elusive 4th Super Bowl ring on February 4th.

    Yes Sir, slowly but surely, the glory days of the 70’s and 90’s are coming back for a new generation of Cowboy fans, with the unexpected duo of Garrett and Prescott joined at the hip.

Star Blog

Months Later, it Seems Jaguars S Barry Church was Right

Kevin Brady

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Months Later, Jaguars Safety Barry Church Wa E

About five months ago, before the 2017 NFL season had even begun, former Cowboys safety Barry Church made comments which made Cowboys Nation scratch their heads. Now a Jacksonville Jaguar, Church said his current team was more talented than his former, the Dallas Cowboys.

At the time, many fans and writers alike laughed off his comments and chalked it up to typical preseason hype. Most people thought Church was crazy for suggesting a 13-3 team had less talent than the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team led by Blake Bortles.

Well, five months later, it’s become clear Barry Church was right.

Brian Chojnacki on Twitter

Jaguars safety Barry Church says he feels this Jags team has more talent than his #Cowboys squad last season. Dallas went 13-3. https://t.co/EcbxfUGsvy

This weekend the Jaguars went on the road to Pittsburgh, and came away with a wire-to-wire victory in January. The Jaguars were the more physical team from start to finish, and dominated from the opening kick off.

On the road.

Against the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers.

Now the Jaguars are preparing to do something the Cowboys haven’t done in two decades: play in a conference championship game.

The Jaguars and Cowboys will be linked for the next decade or so due to decisions each made during the 2016 NFL Draft. And while it appeared the Cowboys pushed all the right buttons in 2016, it now looks as if the Jaguars are preparing to compete for AFC supremacy for years to come.

With their talented secondary, dominant defense, and physical rushing attack, the Jaguars have built their team in the mold of past champions.

The Cowboys have attempted to do some of the same, but it certainly looks as if Barry Church was correct in his preseason assessment of the two rosters.

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Could the Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Could The Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018?
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After a season of disappointment and under achievement, one word that creeps into every die-hard fan is change. Back in September, the Dallas Cowboys were one of the Las Vegas favorites to get to the Super Bowl. Naturally, after a 9-7 season, we all want some sort of change.

By now, we know that said change will not come in the form of a new head coach. Or, if we’re being honest with ourselves, probably not even in the form of different coordinators.

So, then what?

We’ve seen a coaching carousel lately in Dallas with a lot of moves going on. Just about every position coach is leaving or interviewing with other teams, Kellen Moore is set to be the new QBs coach and so on.

But heading into the offseason, it’s inevitable to think about how many changes we could see in the Cowboys’ offense.

Takeaway Tuesday: Awuzie and Lewis Impress, Concerns Around Dez Bryant

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports)

Recently, fellow Staff Writer Brian Martin wrote about how the Cowboys should build a Prescott-friendly offense for Dak Prescott. Despite a struggling season, Dak Prescott shouldn’t be evaluated or replaced after just two seasons. Even if overreactions around Cowboys Nation tell you otherwise.

Even still, it’s more than fair to criticize an offense that was far from meeting expectations last season. All this leads to a lot of questions about where the future of this offense is headed.

Is Dez Bryant still worth the money he’s being paid?

Should he be officially replaced by another WR1, something he hasn’t been for a long time?

The Cowboys have a ton of needs, and even though we’re used to the idea of defense always being our top priority in the offseason, this time it might be different.

This team really needs to get Dak a best friend, a receiver who can create separation. A good route runner.

Who knows, maybe Dez isn’t here next season. But even if he is, he probably won’t be “the guy” when it comes to catching Dak Prescott’s passes.

Could The Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018? 1

Dallas Cowboys WRs Ryan Switzer, Cole Beasley

What about Cole Beasley?

Whether we like it or not, he’s another guy whose play wasn’t as good as 2016. With him going into his final year under contract, is it possible the Cowboys explore other options?

Despite not getting a lot of playing time, Ryan Switzer showed very promising flashes when he was asked to fill Beasley’s spot in the season finale at Philadelphia. I can’t help wondering if Switzer will be able to earn a more involved role on offense as the slot wide receiver next year.

Perhaps in the long run, he’s the better option for the Cowboys instead of the guy who’ll be 29 when the 2018 season arrives.

Now, Jason Witten is my all-time favorite Dallas Cowboy. But if we’re being real with ourselves, even if he’s still as reliable as ever, he isn’t a very dangerous player anymore. The coaching staff should find a way to do something similar to what the Chargers have done with Antonio Gates and add a younger, more dangerous tight end to play alongside Witten.

Before the 2017 season began, the Cowboys were expected to be one of the best offenses in the NFL. They failed to meet expectations. We know the coaching staff isn’t changing at the “big three” positions, but maybe we see it in the form of players.

Could we see a new-look offense in Dallas next season?

Tell me what you think about “Could the Dallas Cowboys Feature a New-Look Offense in 2018?” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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Cowboys en Español: El Futuro de David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys en Español: El Futuro de David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence
Kevin Jairaj / USA TODAY Sports

Es hora, inevitablemente, de pensar en la temporada lejana del 2018. Después de una difícil temporada, se viene un offseason con casi la misma dificultad para los Dallas Cowboys. Hace un año vimos una gran cantidad de jugadores irse de Dallas. Entre ellos, Morris Claiborne, Barry Church y Brandon Carr.

Ahora, la oficina de los Cowboys tiene la tarea de encontrar la manera de retener a jugadores como DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Anthony Hitchens, extender a Zack Martin más allá del 2018 y más.

No será una hazaña fácil, y las preguntas se extienden más allá de los jugadores mencionados. En Inside The Star, “Cowboys en Español” seguirá publicándose todos los viernes esta columna.

En la edición de esta semana, hablaremos sobre dos de los jugadores más importantes para los Cowboys esta temporada baja.

¿Qué Pasará con David Irving, DeMarcus Lawrence?

Por primera vez en mucho tiempo, los Cowboys tienen jugadores bastante prometedores en la línea defensiva. El problema es, que justo este año, es tiempo de asegurarse de que vuelvan a Dallas.

La situación con David Irving es un tanto complicada, pues a pesar de ya no estar bajo contrato con los Cowboys este 2018, es un agente libre “restringido.”

Para ser un agente libre “no restringido” (un agente libre común y corriente que puede ser perseguido por cualquier equipo), un jugador tiene que haber acumulado cuatro temporadas en la liga. Como no fue seleccionado en el Draft, Irving realmente firmó por tres años en el 2015 y no ha juntado sus cuatro años en la NFL.

David Irving, Redskins

Dallas Cowboys DL David Irving

Esto es lo que lo convierte en un “RFA”, agente libre restringido, por sus siglas en inglés. Esto significa que los Cowboys, en resumen, tienen la opción de igualar la oferta de cualquier otro equipo que quiera llevarse a Irving.

Esto se logra por medio de un “tender.” Hay varios tipos de tenders, y estos se clasifican por rondas. Por ejemplo, si los Cowboys decidieran asignarle un tender de segunda ronda a David Irving este año, se le pagaría alrededor de $3M.

Los valores de los tenders se determinan por el mercado de la NFL en general.

Ojo, aún con un tender asignado, otro equipo puede terminar con el jugador. ¿El detalle? Digamos que los Cowboys deciden darle a Irving un tender de segunda ronda. Si un equipo externo decide firmar a Irving, eso significa que tienen que darle a los Cowboys una selección de segunda ronda en el siguiente NFL Draft.

Esto asegura la posibilidad de quedarse con el jugador, pues es bastante complicado que un equipo desee tanto a un jugador que ni siquiera conoce lo suficiente como para entregar una selección de segunda ronda.

DeMarcus Lawrence Credits DT Maliek Collins For Early Season Dominance 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

Sin embargo, los Cowboys no tienen la misma suerte con DeMarcus Lawrence. Para quedarse a D-Law, habrá que hablar de números muy grandes.

Es difícil darle un contrato del calibre que se espera para Lawrence cuando realmente sólo ha tenido una buena temporada. Entre problemas de salud y lesiones, no fue hasta este año que DeMarcus realmente hizo un trabajo excelente.

¿Qué si Lawrence sólo puso una excelente temporada por ser “año de contrato” y realmente no tiene el nivel que aparenta?

No me sorprendería ver a los Dallas Cowboys darle una etiqueta franquicia.

Pero, ¿qué es eso?

Básicamente, una etiqueta franquicia es un trato de un año que obliga al jugador a quedarse en su equipo. Un equipo de la NFL sólo puede usar la etiqueta franquicia una vez al año.

Hay varios tipos, pero la idea es que al jugador se le paga el promedio de los mejores 5 pagados en su posición. A menos que sea la etiqueta de “transición” en la que se promedian los 10 mejores pagados, naturalmente haciéndola más barata.

Hablando de etiquetas franquicias, existe la exclusiva, la no-exclusiva y la de transición.

La primera, es sencillamente que ningún equipo puede intentar llevarse al jugador. En la no-exclusiva, cualquier equipo puede hacerle una oferta al jugador, y el equipo original tiene el derecho de igualarla.

Pero, si no la iguala… recibe dos selecciones de primera ronda como compensación. Esto, casi nunca sucede.

La verdad, creo que es el futuro de DeMarcus Lawrence. Me sorprendería mucho que le dieran un contratazo desde ahora, y la etiqueta franquicia suena como una buena opción. No me parece que se merezca una exclusiva, pero tampoco una de transición, que no ofrece compensación alguna.

Si los Cowboys logran quedarse con David Irving por medio de un tender de segunda ronda y a DeMarcus Lawrence con una etiqueta franquicia no-exclusiva, diría que Dallas hizo un buen trabajo quedándose con sus prometedores jóvenes de la línea defensiva.

Tell me what you think about “Cowboys en Español: El Futuro de David Irving y DeMarcus Lawrence” in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!

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