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    Cowboys Offseason Regrets: No Impact From 1st-Round Pick

    This is the second of a five-part series looking at decisions the Dallas Cowboys made during the 2017 that they may now regret. On Monday, we looked at the changes on the offensive line.

    “With the 28th pick in the 2017 , the Dallas Cowboys select… Taco Charlton… defensive end, Michigan.”

    Those words from Lord Roger caused immediate debate and even despair among Cowboys fans. Many had clamored for Dallas to take a different pass rusher, T.J. Watt, and they felt Dallas erred by taking Taco Charlton when Watt was still on the board. He went two spots later to the .

    The Watt-wanting crowd will quickly tell you that T.J. has five this season compared to just two for Charlton. There's no denying that, but it's worth nothing that Watt has been on the field for 562 snaps compared to just 283 for Taco.

    Taco Charlton, Rams
    DE Taco Charlton

    Don't let anyone tell you that Taco Charlton is a bust based on the first 12 games of his NFL career. That's stupid analysis for any player, and especially one who was known to need some time and development when he was drafted.

    , who was taken eighth overall in 1998, started all 16 games as a rookie and only had three sacks. This was a Top-10 player and the guy that Dallas chose over eminent Hall-of-Famer . Ellis got hit with even harder criticism than what Taco's had this year.

    Ellis finished his time in Dallas in 2008 with 77 career sacks, putting him third all-time in team behind and .

    The book is hardly written for Taco Charlton as a Cowboy. He could develop into a double-digit sack man and wind up somewhere around Ellis and Jeffcoat one day on that list (I think D-Ware is safe). He could wind up being great value for a late first-rounder.

    But really, this isn't about Taco's future, T.J. Watt, or the price of tea in China.  It's about the undeniable fact that the Cowboys, who didn't have the cap space to bring in a high-impact , used their first-round pick on a project player. That's what's hurting them right now.

     

    Reuben Foster, 49ers
    49ers LB Reuben Foster

    Taken three picks after Taco Charlton went to Dallas, the 49ers' Reuben Foster is a great example of a guy who could be helping the Cowboys as we speak. After missing the early part of the year with injuries, Foster has recorded 14 and 10 tackles in recent weeks and has taken over the role that Navarro Bowman held for many years.

    The Cowboys sure could've used a guy like Foster while 's been out. Even if you think will eventually be the guy, Foster could help right now and become another star in the middle of the in the near future.

    Or how about OT Ryan Ramczyk, who has started all 12 games for the Saints at ? Dallas could've replaced and kept at left . Less moving parts might've helped the run game's efficiency early in the year, perhaps helping Dallas win those close games against the Rams and Packers.

    If nothing else, taking Ramczyk or maybe Cam Robinson would mean paying a first-round talent an average of $2.5 million to be their starting right for the next four years. You'd have a key position covered, on the cheap, until the .

    In either case, Dallas would be getting far more immediate benefit from that 28th pick than what Taco Charlton is giving. For a 6-6 team trying to scrape their way into the , anything that might've tipped a game or two in their favor would have been preferable.

    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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    10 COMMENTS

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    BigD

    I agree, we needed a producer in the 1st round. Everybody knew that wasn’t going to be Taco. Yes, Taco might get better down the road but the same can be said of Watt. The main problem is, there were better prospects available and players that would be starting. Cant draft a project in the 1st round when you already have Jaylon and Gregory on the team. This team never learns.

    Randy Martin

    As most of us know, the DE position takes time. Could they have taken a more immediate path to success? Probably. Would TJ Watt have been a better choice. Honestly, it’s hard to say as it may be a matter of scheme fit. As a side note I thought I read recently that McClay was pushing for Watt at that pick and Garrett was pounding the table for Charlton. It’s been an odd season and I really liked Charlton in his last game. Let’s see what develops but a bust he is not!

    Tone' Cyphers

    I agree with what you said. Taco has been improving as of late. He’s been close to getting sacks but just hasn’t had as much success yet. Hopefully he develops into a more well rounded player like Lawrence so he can get more snaps in both running and passing downs. He just needs more time

    pdstix78

    I thought you gotta get quality snaps on the field before being labeled a bust….

    Andre Hickman

    The fact of the matter is Taco Charlton did not draft his self he should have been a third round draft pick at best the Cowboys made a mistake I think the jury is still out on TJ Watt

    Cowboysdude

    This organization has done that a LOT over the last 20 years.

    Andre Hickman

    What does that have to do with anything

    blaine

    He made a statement regarding your original post. He stated that the Cowboys have reached for players in the draft in the past, which is what you alluded to with your post about Taco. It doesnt seem like a very valid statement, seeing as weve hit on players such as Smith, Bryant, Martin, etc. But be smarter about your replies, so to avoid sounding like a dick

    Andre Hickman

    No he made a statement indicating that this organization has done a lot a lot of what? So again his comment has absolutely nothing to do with anything due to its vagueness. No on to your comment you mean to tell me that you can equate Taco Charlton a premier third-rounder getting drafted way too high what the likes of a Tyron Smith who won the Morris trophy in 2010. I can only assume you’re not being serious just as I can assume the same when you compare a taco Charlton to Zack Martin the same Zack Martin who blocked for a Notre Dame running game that averaged 4.8 yards a Carry. And I can only assume that you have misspoke when you compare a taco Charlton to a Dez Bryant a 2008 All-American a had he did not been suspended a 2009 candidate for the Heisman Trophy. So in closing how dare you try to call out the validity of my statement with some erroneous claim that you can compare Taco Charlton to those first-rounders. Taco Charlton is not a bust Taco Charlton was not a successful draft pick taco Charlton should have been drafted in the third round you take the best person on the board

    John McClain

    Tj watt is a 34 outside linebacker too small for a 43 DE. As for Foster he’s a injury risk which almost all football teams had off their board which a good writer would have informed people in his article. As for right tackle you might be correct. McClay didn’t have Watt for the Cowboys maybe rated as a higher player but a different scheme.


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