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Dallas Cowboys Must Start Kellen Moore

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Blog - Dallas Cowboys Must Start Kellen Moore

With three games remaining, and the Cowboys at 4-9, my optimism for 2015 is all but gone. Disappointing, gut-wrenching and unfathomable are all words I would use to describe the turn of events this season.

I joined the Inside the Star family this summer with one goal in mind - writing about the Dallas Cowboys as Super Bowl Champions. Now, my attention shifts to how to make the lifelong dream possible next season.

This process must begin with the quarterback position as Kellen Moore needs to come in for the veteran Matt Cassel. We all know exactly what the Cowboys have in the veteran Cassel, and it's not pretty.

Cowboys Nation on Twitter

Matt Cassel threw 0 completed passes that traveled 10 yards in the air over the first 55:28 of the game today.

Kellen Moore represents more than just the white flag for 2015. He represents a potential answer to some of the most critical questions the Cowboys will have this offseason before the draft.

1. Is Kellen Moore a viable backup QB?

With a short week to prepare for the Jets, and a road game in Buffalo on tap for week 16, the Cowboys should be able to get a decent showing one way or another from Moore. While entirely evaluating him off of three games would be unfair, his performance could make the difference between drafting a signal-caller in the first round or trusting him enough to let him compete with a lower round pick.

2. Will Kellen Moore save Scott Linehan?

While I find this entire topic absurd, and hope that Linehan is back next season regardless of the outcome for the remainder of 2015, a transition in quarterbacks could certainly save him. Linehan was with Kellen Moore in Detroit, so the two have a chance to put something together and prove to Jerry Jones and the Cowboys that Linehan should return and Moore can be here to stay.

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Should Kellen Moore start for @CowboysNation on Saturday against the #Jets?

3. Can Moore play with more confidence than Cassel?

As referenced in the tweet above, perhaps the most frustrating part about Cassel's play is his unwillingness to try to hit on big plays down the field. Given the chance, would Kellen Moore attempt to open things up and finally get Dez Bryant involved this season?

 4. Is Kellen Moore a trade option?

Let's say Moore starts against the Jets and throws four touchdowns, only to regress to what the Cowboys thing they actually have in him at Buffalo and against Washington.

In this scenario, we have seen teams before throw out everything they know about evaluating players and go after a QB based on one game tape. Perhaps a team would do the same for Moore, giving the Cowboys a valuable piece in return.

Some potential trade returns may include a different backup QB that the Cowboys rank ahead of Moore, or a running back that shows potential.

These four questions are very important for the Dallas Cowboys moving forward, and can all be answered by making a simple quarterback switch away from a hopeless veteran in Matt Cassel to a young and potentially exciting Kellen Moore.

So, I ask you now, is Moore the guy the rest of the way? Let me know with a comment below, or find me on Twitter @ShoreSportsNJ! You can also follow ITS on Instagram at insidethestardc!

Tell us what you think about "Dallas Cowboys Must Start Kellen Moore" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

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18 Comments
  • larry faught

    Anyone is better than cassel

  • George Johnson

    I am a big K Moore fan and have followed him his whole career. I would like to see K Moore play but for none of the reasons you mentioned. I think he needs to play after three plus years in the NFL for his development and to get some experience. I don't expect him to be substantially better than Cassel and Weeden in his first few games as I assume he will go through a learning curve and will possibly make some rookie mistakes. He will likely do okay to well though as he is a master at pocket passing and makes good decisions and minimizes mistakes. He may never play in the NFL because of his physical limitations; small size, lack of athleticism and lack of a strong arm. He needs to get an opportunity however to demonstrate he can overcome or compensate for his weaknesses with his outstanding pocket passing abilities and instinctive play. He may never get the opportunity because he doesn't look like an NFL QB and has zero NFL experience.

  • Dave Dash

    I feel there is a conspiracy against Kellen Moore, because I figure maybe Romo doesn't want Moore to come in and play well and do like he did to Bledsoe years ago… just my opinion.

    • George Johnson

      I disagree. I also wouldn't expect K Moore to play real well in his first couple of games especially against good defenses. Another conspiracy I have read is that Garrett doesn't want K Moore to come in and do well because everyone will say why didn't Garrett start Moore earlier before Dallas lost so many games that they are out of the playoffs.

  • Ronald Dulaney

    After the Cowboys are behind the Jets by 20 points at halftime, they should bring in Kellen Moore for the second half – that Cassel never shows up for, as we've all witnessed over and over. But only if they let him audible at the line because one of his greatest intangibles is his ability to read defenses and their ploys before the snap. He must also be allowed to improvise AFTER the snap because, first, his incredible feel for pocket flow and where the passing lanes will emerge (why this short kid had so few batted passes – and sacks). And secondly, his apparently innate ability to discern the flow of the players, offensive AND defensive, and where the pass needs to be "placed" so only his receiver can reach it ( why he had so few interceptions). Because of the regemented or formatted nature of practice sessions, these intangibles are rarely, if ever, observed. That's why it's been said that Kellen Moore plays better than he practices. When allowed to exercise these intangible assets he tends to thrive, as when Scott Linehan gave him free reign when the Lions played the Patriots in the 2013 preseason. Because Shaun Hill was beat up, Kellen subbed for him and played against the Pats' first and second team defenses (per Greg Bedard of Sports Illustrated). He started in the second quarter and led 4 scoring drives with two touchdown passes, no interceptions, no sacks or fumbles or batted passes, ending with a 156 QBR. It might be nice to see him start against the Buffalo Bills because he owned them the last four preseason games and he outdueled Tyrod Taylor in Virginia against Taylor's Hokies!

  • Doug

    I'll step out and say you're all wrong. Not only will Kellen step out and be the real deal game #1 but he'll continue winning games every time he plays. I watched him step out onto Autzen Stadium his second game in college football as a freshman. I was sure we were going to be crushed by the Ducks but Kellen proved us all wrong then and he'll prove everyone wrong again. I get that he doesn't look the part but he will make Dallas proud. Let Kellen show Dallas what he can do – it would be a blast to watch…..

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    I'll never understand the cult following that Kellen Moore has.

    There are no conspiracies here. The Cowboys have taken the approach every other team has taken toward the quarterback position when their incumbent starter has been injured.

    Look at Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Jets.
    Matt Hasselbeck of the Colts.
    Michael Vick of the Steelers
    Blaine Gabbert of the 49ers
    Josh McCown of the Browns
    Case Keenum of the Rams

    All players with tangible NFL experience. There are no Kellen Moores in this list. The backup quarterbacks starting in the NFL today are all either vested veterans or drafted heir-apparent players. As far as I know, there have been no undrafted quarterbacks who have never played an NFL snap starting for any NFL team this season.

    With all that said, I want Kellen Moore to start, too, because I think it's time we see what he's got. It's the whole "nothing to lose" argument and Moore does give us at least a sliver of reason to believe he might be good since he was extremely good in college. While success in college often doesn't translate to the NFL, at least we have a foundation for an excuse to give him a shot.

    But there are no conspiracies and no, Garrett/Jerry and company are not stupid for not having already started Moore several weeks ago. Even if he plays the final 2 games and performs well, Weeden and Cassel were still the right guys to have started for the Dallas Cowboys when they were still in playoff contention.

    • http://Google%20+ Ronald Dulaney

      @Zac Fields, Weeden and Cassel, judging from their play, obviously weren't the "right guys" to start for the Cowboys. They were the conventional wisdom guys, the common sense guys, "the usual suspects" guys, the safe choice guys, the " nobody can call me stupid if I choose these" guys – maybe. But obviously not the "right guys".

    • http://Google%20+ Ronald Dulaney

      @Zac Fields, Weeden and Cassel, judging from their play, obviously weren't the "right guys" to start for the Cowboys. They were the conventional wisdom guys, the common sense guys, "the usual suspects" guys, the safe choice guys, the " nobody can call me stupid if I choose these" guys – maybe. But obviously not the "right guys".

    • George Johnson

      I am a big K Moore fan and have followed him his whole career and read everything said about him. Let me rebut some of what you said. 1) Yes, K Moore was not drafted. However, every one of those experts would have to admit now after what K Moore has done so far in the NFL, that he should have been drafted in the later rounds. 2) K Moore has never played in the NFL. However, every QB at some point has not played in the NFL. Someone has to give them an opportunity to play even though they have no experience and the coach wants to win the game, not break in a new rookie QB. Hopefully K Moore will get this opportunity at some point. , 3) K Moore was not drafted because he is too small, not athletic and does not have a strong arm. Many said they questioned whether K Moore could even play in the NFL. However, these so called experts were putting too much weight on what they can see and measure which are mainly his physical attributes or should I say lack there of. What they can't see and measure are his cerebral or mental abilities to play QB. He is outstanding at these and plays instinctively. He may be one of the best ever at a combination of accuracy, anticipation and mental abilities. His college coach, Peterson, said , "HE IS THE BEST POCKET PASSER HE HAS EVER SEEN" Pretty strong statement for a respected coach who is not known to be outspoken. I believe he developed these capabilities from studying, practicing and playing QB since he could walk because he was relentless at it and his dad was a coach so he was in a constant football environment. 4) K Moore has been underestimated at all levels. The major colleges were not interested in coming out of high school just like the NFL was not interested coming out of college. He has always proved everyone wrong and plays way better than anyone thinks he can play. Besides his poise and instinctive abilities to play, he is extremely consistent. One of the reasons he was 50-3 in college and could have easily been 52-1 was his consistency. He can't make all the throws in the NFL playbook because of not having a strong arm but his throws will generally be accurate, good anticipation, good touch, to the right receiver, quick release, and not be intercepted. He will do this consistently over and over again.

  • http://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/ Sean Martin
    InsideTheStar.com User

    I feel there is a conspiracy against Kellen Moore, because I figure maybe Romo doesn't want Moore to come in and play well and do like he did to Bledsoe years ago… just my opinion.

    I think Romo is clearly safe to start when he's once again ready to go, and even would likely prefer to see Moore succeed. Look back at the sideline during the seven-game losing streak, Romo the most hurt most of the time.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    I've shared this sentiment with @Jess Haynie multiple times in the past, but I believe the Cowboys have always preferred to have "Romo-friendly" backup quarterbacks. They have always preferred to have veteran backups that were absolutely no threat in the event that Romo struggled (which he has done at random point sin his career) or got injured.

    I'm not faulting the Cowboys for going that route, but to me that's the reality of it. Look at their acquisition of Brandon Weeden. There was a younger, more successful former Browns quarterback available by the name of Colt McCoy, but McCoy was a huge name in Texas from his college days and was young enough that if Romo struggled you'd start to see fans wanting to see what McCoy could do. It may only be 10% of fans clamoring for it, but that kind of stuff can really mess with a quarterback's psyche.

    Same goes for Blaine Gabbert. The 49ers acquired Gabbert last year in a trade for nothing more than a 6th round pick. Another guy younger than Weeden who was a top draft pick just three years prior, and played for a crappy team in Jacksonville which gives some hope that he can be rehabilitated in a better system.

    It's working out great for the 49ers. And the Redskins got some good games out of McCoy last year. I just believe the Cowboys have always avoided putting guys behind Romo that might have long-term potential. They rarely draft quarterbacks, and the one time they acquire a recent 1st round draft pick, it's a 32 year old nearly as over-the-hill as the quarterback he is backing up.

    To me, just having Kellen Moore on the team indicates a slight deviation from that philosophy. We'll get to see Moore at some point this season — perhaps as soon as next week.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    David Moore of DMN hit the nail on the head for me, pertaining to Kellen Moore:

    David Moore – DMN

    Let's say Moore plays the final two games? Let's say he plays lights out? Does that diminish the need for the Cowboys to draft a young quarterback to develop for the future?

    Not at all.

    Kellen Moore is a curiosity. He's someone who can help pass the time at the end of a dreadful season.

    He's not the future.

    That's my take on it. I think they should start Moore as soon as next week. I wish they'd have started him this week, but it's just a curiosity for me. Nothing he could do on the field changes my view that the Cowboys must consider drafting a quarterback in the top 2 rounds in April.

    • Ronald Dulaney

      @Zac Fields So you and David Moore see Kellen Moore as nothing more than a "curiosity". And NOTHING he could do on the field – even playing "Lights Out" – could change your mind about drafting a QB in the top 2 rounds? Then I'd say YOU TWO are the CURIOSITIES. ( and how's that working for you?) Regarding your Romo Coddling Conspiracy Theory? Please!!

    • http://Google%20+ Ronald Dulaney

      @Zac Fields So you and David Moore see Kellen Moore as nothing more than a "curiosity". And NOTHING he could do on the field – even playing "Lights Out" – could change your mind about drafting a QB in the top 2 rounds? Then I'd say YOU TWO are the CURIOSITIES. ( and how's that working for you?) Regarding your Romo Coddling Conspiracy Theory? Please!!

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    Pigskin ZacI've shared this sentiment with @Jess Haynie multiple times in the past, but I believe the Cowboys have always preferred to have "Romo-friendly" backup quarterbacks. They have always preferred to have veteran backups that were absolutely no threat in the event that Romo struggled (which he has done at random point sin his career) or got injured.

    And, as I've said every time you make this argument, I think you're taking the facts and making one of a few possible interpretations. I think Jason Garrett and Wade Wilson, because of their playing history, have a bias towards experienced backup QBs and prefer older veterans over younger guys.

    Saying they're worried about messing with Romo's confidence is, frankly, an insult to Tony. I think he's proven to have way more guts and moxie than that and that it wouldn't be a factor. Romo was himself a backup who ended up taking somebody's job based on performance. He gets it.

    We keep decrying the Cowboys for taking young tight ends and sticking them behind Jason Witten, only to watch them leave and end up becoming solid players elsewhere. Why would that be okay at QB, where the backup has way less chance of ever making a contribution during their time here, but not other positions? Seems like everyone wants to have it both ways. When a guy is an iron man like Witten, the team gets criticized for wasting picks on reserves. When Romo misses significant time, the team gets criticized for not putting more into the depth chart.

  • http://www.pigskinhub.com/forum/index.php?forums/dallas-cowboys/ Jess Haynie

    That said, I'm all for playing Kellen Moore. What is there to lose? Still competing for the playoffs is a total joke now and almost mathematically impossible because of the Giants/Eagles game Week 17. They would both have to lose two straight leading to that game, and Dallas would have to win three in a row, for there to even be a chance. NOT HAPPENING.

  • http://PigskinHub.com Zac Fields

    Jess HaynieWe keep decrying the Cowboys for taking young tight ends and sticking them behind Jason Witten, only to watch them leave and end up becoming solid players elsewhere. Why would that be okay at QB, where the backup has way less chance of ever making a contribution during their time here, but not other positions?

    The problem with that logic is that a backup quarterback who does get time and thrives becomes a highly-valuable commodity that can be traded. A 1st or 2nd round tight end playing behind the never-injured Jason Witten will almost never end up yielding any value.

    Look at what the Patriots did with Matt Cassel to understand why the Cowboys are foolish for only making one half-hearted attempt at developing a drafted quarterback in the last decade. Back in 2008 when Tony Romo was out most of the season, isn't it a shame that the quarterback who played pretty damn good in his absence was Jon Kitna? What if we had drafted a Kevin Kolb (who, coincidentally yielded a king's ransom for the Eagles in a trade) or even a Chad Henne? What if one of those guys could have led the Cowboys to a .500 record and had an 85.0 quarterback rating? Could we have been the one to acquire Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in a trade?

    I view quarterbacks as valuable commodities. If you draft and develop them, they could be the heir-apparent or you could at least recoup some value in a trade. That's not true of almost any other position behind a strong incumbent starter.

    InsideTheStar.com User@Zac Fields So you and David Moore see Kellen Moore as nothing more than a "curiosity". And NOTHING he could do on the field – even playing "Lights Out" – could change your mind about drafting a QB in the top 2 rounds? Then I'd say YOU TWO are the CURIOSITIES. ( and how's that working for you?) Regarding your Romo Coddling Conspiracy Theory? Please!!

    You have heard the term "Romo-Friendly" before I said it, right? I hope so.

    Like I said, I'm not necessarily faulting the Cowboys for never putting a viable backup quarterback behind Romo — I'm just stating a fact. It's hard to argue that the Cowboys have clearly demonstrated a preference for washed-up quarterbacks in their mid-30's behind Romo. I think the Cowboys are aware that a young drafted quarterback is a valuable commodity that can be developed and traded if need-be, but what they are also aware of is the fickle nature of NFL team fans and aware of the very real issue a quarterback controversy causes.

    I feel like these are all simple concepts, though. Teams try to avoid quarterback controversies, which is an even bigger deal when you're talking a franchise like the Cowboys that deals with a higher level of drama than normal simply because of who they are.

Star Blog

Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same

Sean Martin

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Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys lead the NFC East at 1-1, and have a favorable schedule ahead of them. With such an inexperienced roster, early season growing pains were expected, and likely should be still as the team comes off their first win to play in Seattle on Sunday.

Through a season opening clunker in Carolina and hard-earned divisional win against the Giants, the Cowboys have exceeded already high expectations on defense.

With the currently 0-2 Seahawks, Lions, and Texans awaiting Dallas, the time is now for Scott Linehan's offense to hit their stride. It will take more than a five week assessment to determine if the Cowboys are truly playoff contenders for 2018, but it could take even less than that for Cowboys Nation to realize this team is fighting an uphill battle at QB and WR.

Following Dak Prescott's 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin against the Giants, the Cowboys punted on four of their remaining seven drives. The Cowboys did a better job mixing up their early down play calling to remain ahead of the chains for most of the night, but even still their execution was lacking. Finishing three of ten on third downs, the Cowboys didn't sustain the type of originality on offense that earned them an early cushion.

Thankfully, the Cowboys turning back the clock to 2016 on a clinching touchdown drive of 14 plays would be all the defense needed. Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott would both convert a pair of first downs on the ground. The Cowboys took a 20-3 lead, and more importantly the game clock down to 5:45 with an eight minute and 23 second march.

As such, the Cowboys offense is an enigma. With the return of Brice Butler, the team is currently carrying seven wide receivers and four tight ends.

On defense, the Cowboys are expecting reinforcements in Xavier Woods, Randy Gregory, and David Irving to further bolster this aggressive, blitzing unit in the coming weeks. For the offense, Dallas must make the most out of the unknown depth they have, without any drastic change in style around the corner.

The Cowboys record under Prescott proves they're at their best when Dak is efficient. The ceiling for a new-look Cowboys offense built for Dak is not as high for this reason. Through just two weeks, it's clear that the Cowboys offense will be as good as the sum of its parts - instead of relying on any individual talents.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Cowboys' record when Dak Prescott ... Doesn't throw an interception: 20-4 Records at least a 100.0 passer rating: 15-1 Commits no turnovers: 18-1

After a strong preseason from rookie Wide Receiver Michael Gallup, the third-round pick has played less than half his team's offensive snaps through two games. Cole Beasley has seemed to regain his connection with Prescott, snagging a team high nine catches so far. Terrance Williams has been a non-factor, and the same is surprisingly said about FA acquisition Allen Hurns.

Regardless of what the Cowboys do over the coming weeks, a few narratives and lingering questions about the team feel evident. With the defense set to tee off against the Seahawks sub par OL this week, Rod Marinelli's unit will still likely not receive the credit it deserves heading into week four.

With the task at hand being maintaining their standing atop the division, the Cowboys must also be out to prove they can sustain success without a consistent passing game.

All of this to effectively say, the Cowboys are going to Seattle expecting to control the game on defense. To finish off Russell Wilson in his home opener (already at 0-2), it will take a sharper performance for a full four quarters on offense too.

A win at the Seahawks might not mean as much as it has in past seasons, but in improving the Cowboys record to 2-1 on the way back to AT&T Stadium, it could be all the confidence they need to understand the NFC East is theirs for the taking while continuing to truly find their identity.

2014 NFL: Week 6 Cowboys vs. Seahawks highlights

Week 6 Own by nfl

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys Defense is Ready to Win Now, Time for Offense to Prove the Same" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

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Cowboys Defense So Far So Good as Seahawks Up Next

Dallas may only be 1-1 on the season, but the Cowboys are officially tied for first-place in the NFC East, and fresh off a workmanlike victory over divisional rivals, the New York Giants. It was a game they should have won, and did win, but the takeaways so early in the season are that, although the offense has not clicked on all cylinders, the defense is getting high praise.

The Cowboys sacked New York’s Eli Manning six times and limited the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 draft, Saquon Barkley, to a mere 28 yards rushing. It was also a night in which Dak Prescott not only out-gained Barkley by 17 yards on the ground, but torched the Giants’ secondary on a 64-yard touchdown strike to Tavon Austin which proved New York’s Safety Landon Collins wrong when leading up to this game he remarked that the key to a Giants’ victory would be getting Prescott to throw. When Prescott was made aware of the comment in a midweek interview he replied, "…challenge accepted," and the third-year veteran made good on his word leading to the 20-13 victory.

However, Prescott ended the night with just 160 yards passing yet the ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 showed no signs of rearing its head as Prescott moved seamlessly in the pocket and ran the ball well.

As we move ahead to the Cowboys meeting in Seattle, we take a quick check over to one of the most reputable online sportsbooks in the industry - Intertops according to the reviews - where we can monitor the line on this pivotal NFC clash as the week progresses.

Seattle boasts a talented quarterback of their own in Russell Wilson but one who will find the sledding tough if the Dallas defense continues to shut down All-World wide outs like Odell Beckham Jr. and contain future rushing stars like Saquon Barkley. Outside of Wilson, Seattle is not loaded offensively, with their biggest target, Doug Baldwin, ailing with a knee injury and a backfield which consists of two young rushers in second-year man Chris Carson and a first-round rookie in Rashaad Penny who dealt with nagging injuries throughout the preseason and looked unsettled in Seattle’s 27-24 loss to the Broncos.

The Cowboys defense has already proven its worth in Carolina with Cam Newton under center and again last week against New York. The unit is surrendering an average of 14 ½ points per game and is incorporating more blitz packages than we’ve come to expect.

The difference this year is that the players they have on defense are capable of getting to the quarterback quick enough so that the coverage linebackers and secondary aren’t alone on an island for too long. The one concern is the status of Linebacker Sean Lee, who checked out of the game in the fourth quarter Sunday night and brought to mind his hamstring issues of a year ago, but apparently it was in fact cramping, and not straining, of the hammy which allowed Lee to return.

The bottom line in terms of the Cowboys' upcoming matchup on Sunday afternoon is that they will get the Seahawks coming off a short week, as Seattle played on Monday night and should be relatively healthy for the contest.

Dak Prescott may not have the formidable offensive line that he has had in the past, nor a top-tier arsenal of receivers, but he does have the elusive Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield and is capable of extricating himself from pressure situations when no target is available.

If the Dallas defense continues to play at the current level, it will not only be limiting the opposition on the scoreboard but putting its offense in good field position throughout. So check out Intertops, one of the most trusted and reputable online sportsbooks, to see where this line goes because a Dallas win and an ATS cover are just days away.



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Taco Tuesday: Cowboys DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?

Brian Martin

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Taco Tuesday: DE Taco Charlton Starting to Dominate?
(Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been quite a bit of talk about what a bad decision it was for the Dallas Cowboys to draft Taco Charlton with their first-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Nearly everybody wanted someone different, not a player that needed time to develop.

Well, fast forward a year later and it looks as if the Cowboys made the right decision.

Don't look now, but Defensive End Taco Charlton is starting to live up to that first-round pedigree. In the first two weeks of the 2018 season, Charlton has already looked like a much improved player from what we saw a season ago. Imagine that, a little bit of time to develop and he's turning into a solid player.

I know I may be getting a little bit ahead of myself, especially suggesting that he is starting to dominate, but I can't help myself. I'm that excited about how much he has improved in one offseason. I may be alone here, but I have high hopes he could turn into something special.

In 2017, Taco Charlton failed to start a single game for the Dallas Cowboys as a rookie. That's not really what you want from your first-round draft pick. To makes matters worse, in 16 games he only registered 25 total tackles, four QB sacks, two passes defensed, and one forced fumble. As you can imagine, it didn't sit well with most Cowboys fans.

Luckily, it looks as if Charlton's offseason in the Dallas Cowboys strength and conditioning program has paid off. Already in 2018 he has accumulated six total tackles, one QB sack, one pass defensed, and recovered a fumble. If he keeps this pace up, we could be looking at #97 reaching double-digit sacks this year.

Taco Charlton

Dallas Cowboys DE Taco Charlton

Now, I wouldn't call what Taco Charlton has accomplished so far this season dominating, but he is proving to be a starting quality DE along the Cowboys defensive line. It's a unit that has looked really good in the first two weeks of the season and is expected to be even better once Randy Gregory and David Irving are able to return to the field.

In the meantime, the Dallas Cowboys are happy to get plays like this from Taco Charlton.

Taco Charlton Eli Manning sack

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

This is a play Charlton is expected to make. He was left unblocked, but we've seen players left unblocked before not make the play. So, it may not be as impressive as some QB sacks. But, I'll take the routine tackle any day over someone trying to make a splash play and failing.

If you're looking for an impressive play from Taco Charlton, take a look at what he was able to do against Odell Beckham Jr. in the passing game.

Taco Charlton covering Odell Beckham Jr

Check out this video on Streamable using your phone, tablet or desktop.

In case you're wondering, that's Taco Charlton in OBJ's hip pocket 15 yards down the field in pass coverage. It looks as if that's where Eli Manning was wanting to go with the ball, but tight coverage by the Cowboys, and Charlton, across the board ended up resulting in a QB sack.

If you don't find that impressive, I don't know what will. A 275 pound DE covering arguably the best and highest paid wide receiver down the field is almost unheard of. I would count that as impressive.

What do you think of Taco Charlton's play so far in 2018?



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