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Is It Time To Replace Taco Charlton With Charles Tapper?

Brian Martin

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Is It Time To Replace Taco Charlton With Charles Tapper?

With the 28th selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys decided to take Taco Charlton, a defensive end out of Michigan. It wasn't a huge surprise that the Cowboys took a pass rusher at that spot, but who they decided to take was.

Despite having all of the measurables and athleticism to play either the left or right defensive end spot in a 4-3 defense, Charlton was viewed by many draft analysts as a second round talent. It wasn't a huge stretch for the Cowboys to draft Charlton 28th overall, but nearly everybody agreed that it would take time for him to develop.

Through the first four weeks of the 2017 season, Taco Charlton has been active every game, but has yet to make much of an impact. In fact, he has been virtually invisible. That is why I think it might just be time for the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff to switch things up and reverse the roles of Taco Charlton and Charles Tapper.

Charles Tapper has been inactive these last two games against the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals, but it's time for that to change. Taco Charlton simply isn't ready yet and hopefully just needs more time to develop. Of course, there is always the possibility that he is a bust, which means the Cowboys wasted their 2017 first-round draft pick.

Taco Charlton, Charles Tapper

Unfortunately, Taco Charlton hasn't been effective so far this season. He has played a total of 101 defensive snaps and just 1 snap on special teams. He has only been able to register 3 total tackles in that time and hasn't been able to put hardly any pressure on opposing QBs. That's not the kind of productivity the Cowboys thought they were getting by drafting him 28th overall.

Charles Tapper on the other hand seems to have been much more effective in the short amount of time he has been on the field. He has just 37 defensive snaps in two games, but has just as many tackles as Charlton (3) and a quarterback sack. He can also play special teams and already has more special teams snaps than Charlton (9). To me, that indicates that Tapper is much more productive at this point in his career than the Cowboys rookie DE.

Based on their pre-draft workouts, Tapper is clearly the more athletic/explosive player. Tapper and Charlton both weighed in around 270 pounds, but Tapper ran a 4.59 40 yard dash compared to Charlton's 4.92. The rest of their measurables/workout numbers are similar, except Charlton has a 3 inch height advantage over Tapper.

The height advantage doesn't really mean much though. Sometimes being the taller player can be a disadvantage. It's all about keeping offensive lineman from getting into their bodies, so arm length is usually the more important attribute. In that regard, both Charlton (34 1/4) and Tapper (34 3/8) are very similar.

If you keep all of that in mind, Charles Tapper seems to be the better of the two defensive ends. He has been in the strength and conditioning program for a year and was able to drop his weight to around the 255 range, making him much more explosive. But, for some reason the coaching staff continued to stick with an ineffective Taco Charlton, likely due to his draft pedigree.

Maybe this is the week we see a change. The Dallas Cowboys certainly need all the help they can get with their pass rush, especially considering the Green Bay Packers are up next on the schedule. If nothing else, it would be good to get more tape on Charles Tapper so that they can evaluate him more during the bye week.

Do you think Charles Tapper can help the Cowboys pass rush?



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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13 Comments
  • Corey

    Yes it is time to see what Charles Tapper can do. Hopefully Charlton just needs time to improve and doesn’t turn out to be a bust. They already have a wasted high pick in DE Randy Gregory. I read that he has failed yet another drug test and doesn’t seem to be to concerned about ever playing football again. I said when he got suspended for a year that it was time to cut Gregory loose and move on, now maybe they will quit wasting their time on this loser and do just that

    • Brian Martin

      Don’t get me started Randy Gregory pick ha ha. I was extremely disappointed in that selection. I really wanted Frank Clark with that pick and every time I see him making plays with the Seahawks, I just relive that disappointment. But yes, I’m ready to see what Charles Tapper can do. He’s arguably the most athletic DE the Cowboys have on the roster.

  • Steve Johnson

    He is basically a rookie this year got see what Tapper can do at this point.

    • Brian Martin

      Especially this week. That way there is more game film of Tapper so the coaching staff can better evaluate him during the bye week.

  • Eric Smith

    It’s been time to play Tapper.we need the best players on the field regardless of draft position.

    • Brian Martin

      I completely agree. Unfortunately I just saw that Tapper is on crutches and could miss an extended period of time. Could be a player the Cowboys put on IR and designate him to return in a few weeks. That would free up a spot for David Irving.

  • Ervinlang318

    Just think we passed on Watt for Taco. When the League goes Zig the Cowboys love going Zag. We always go against the popular vote.We never should have drafted Taco

    • Brian Martin

      The ceiling for Charlton is much higher than Watt. The Cowboys drafted Charlton for the long-term. Watt has been better so far, but there’s no way of telling who will be the better of the two when all is said and done. We’re just going have to be patient with Taco while he continues to develop.

  • Derick Ramirez

    Poorly written article. No editor to catch the multiple errors? And just like that, this is no longer an option with Tapper on IR

    • Brian Martin

      I appreciate you critiquing the article. Even with proofreading errors sometimes slip through the cracks unfortunately. Hopefully they are all corrected now to your satisfaction. And yes, it looks as if I jinxed Charles Tapper by complementing him. But, I still believe he is better than Taco Charlton at this point in their careers.

      • Derick Ramirez

        I promise I’m not a troll. I just have an expectation that a published article is properly edited (I teach English). And I agree. I wanted to see Tapper out there. Play time should be decided by performance.

        • Brian Martin

          No worries. These things happen sometimes. I use a voice activated program (Dragon NaturallySpeaking) to type because of my disability and it a lot of times it has a mind of its own. I try to correct my mistakes though. I don’t mind being called out LOL.

          Unfortunately, it looks as if my article jinxed Charles Tapper. He is now headed to IR with what looks to be a broken fifth metacarpal bone in his foot.

          • https://InsideTheStar.com/ Bryson Treece

            Metatarsal* I believe. Metacarpals are in the hand. Blame that one on Dragon NS, Brian haha

Star Blog

Will DeMarcus Lawrence Be Franchise Tagged Again in 2019?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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DeMarcus Lawrence, Franchise Tags and Realities for Dallas Cowboys
Matthew Emmons / USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for extending players under the franchise tag has come and gone last Monday, in a day in which none of the remaining tagged players reached an agreement with their respective teams. That includes Dallas Cowboy Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence, who's set to earn $17M in 2018.

The front office and the 26-year old defensive end failed to agree to a new contract before the season's start, but we saw that coming. After all, there was never a point in which we had the classic "X player and his team are close to a new deal" headline.

All of this makes the future of the Cowboys' promising "War Daddy" very uncertain. What lies a head of the player that put on an impressive show in 2018?

Since 2017 was Lawrence's breakout year, racking up 14.5 sacks trough the season, we have leaned towards the narrative of last season being his only good one. His performance last season was impressive and clearly his best one yet, but we tend to overlook 2015.

In his sophomore season, the only other year in which he has played 16 games, he finished the campaign with eight sacks and 35 tackles (55 combined). Really, the idea of 2017 being his only good year is not as accurate as we might think.

That being said, I think it's more likely that we see another great year from him this upcoming season than seeing a disappointing one. This, of course, will end up being the main thing that determines his future in Dallas.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 1

Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence

The Dallas Cowboys front office really took a risk by tagging Lawrence this offseason. #90 was reportedly asking for an average of $17M per year in his long-term contract, which is Olivier Vernon kind of money.

So what if he puts a similar season or an even better one? Lawrence and his agent could end up asking for even more money. Perhaps in the 18 or 20 million dollars per year range. If that ends up being the case, the team will find itself in a tough position when trying to reach an agreement with its promising pass rusher.

Which leads us to the possibility of seeing the Cowboys franchise tagging Lawrence for the second consecutive season. Dallas will already be negotiating a contract extension with QB Dak Prescott, and things will get complicated. Even more if they decide to pursue a big-time free agent in March, such as Earl Thomas.

It would make sense, from a financial perspective, to hand the tag twice in consecutive years to D-Law. However, it shouldn't be the priority. If he plays like he did in 2017, the front office will be more than wise to extend him for good.

According to OverTheCap.com, the Cowboys will have approximately $50.6M. Seemingly, the team's cap woes will be over soon.

Fortunately, Lawrence didn't become a headache by threatening to holdout for offseason programs and even training camp. However, don't expect that to happen if he finds himself under the tag next year.

Careers in the NFL are short, so DeMarcus will surely want to get paid. If he keeps it up, he'll deserve it. As much as he deserves it, though, football is a cold business. If the Jones need to tag him, they will.

Do you think the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence in 2019?

Tell me what you think about "Will DeMarcus Lawrence Be Franchise Tagged Again in 2019?" 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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Star Blog

Without Looming Suspension, RB Ezekiel Elliott Should Shine In 2018

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys en Español: 3

NFL Films typically does a good job of exposing some truths around NFL teams. Whether through "Hard Knocks" or Amazon's new "All or Nothing" series, these documentaries do an excellent job of giving fans an inside look of their favorite teams.

If anything was revealed through the Cowboys' All or Nothing series on their 2017 season, it's that Ezekiel Elliott's suspension weighed heavy on his mind all year.

The Pro Bowl running back did not look, act, or play like himself while awaiting decision on his incoming suspension. And, once it was finally announced he would serve the six games, the entire team collapsed in Atlanta.

Despite the clear and detrimental effects Elliott's suspension had on the Cowboys' season, Zeke still put up more-than-respectable numbers; rushing for almost 1,000 yards and averaging a league leading 98.3 yards per game.

Now, Ezekiel Elliott enters a season with no doubts about his own availability. Scott Linehan gets to coach an offense that knows they will have their best player for the entire season barring major injury. And, Jason Garrett can lead his team without addressing questions about Elliott's future day in and day out.What Workload is Ezekiel Elliott Prepared for in 2018? 1

Of course, these effects aren't quantifiable. We can't sit here and say that without the pressure of court appearances and suspensions that Elliott will be worth "X" amount of more yards and "Y" more touchdowns.

But I do believe we can say, without question, that playing with a clear mind and without a looming suspension will breed the type of production we saw from Zeke his rookie year.

We can say that Elliott has had a weight lifted off his shoulders, and could be looking for revenge on a league he feels did him wrong.

And, for the Cowboys sake, I hope this is true. Because they are going to need Ezekiel Elliott to be even better than he ever has been if they hope to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2018.



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Star Blog

Cowboys en Español: El Regreso de Randy Gregory

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Randy Gregory, Eagles
Eric Hartline / USA TODAY Sports

A sólo días de que los Dallas Cowboys aterricen en Oxnard, California para dar inicio a su training camp como todos los años, el equipo recibió excelentes noticias respecto a la selección de segunda ronda del 2015: Randy Gregory. Después de pasar todo el 2017 suspendido, el ala defensiva ha sido oficialmente reintegrado por la NFL.

Gregory, quien tuvo muchos problemas debido al uso de marihuana, ha pasado los últimos meses rehabilitándose para poder volver a vestir la estrella y volver al emparrillado. Los Cowboys, quienes siempre apoyaron a su joven jugador, sin duda estarán felices de verlo de vuelta en el equipo por motivos más allá que el football americano.

Sin duda alguna, antes de estar emocionados y felices por verlo en el campo intimidando a quarterbacks rivales, deberíamos estar alegres por el logro personal de Randy como un ser humano. Realmente hizo un esfuerzo consciente en un lugar en el que muchos se hubieran rendido y dejado sus sueños de ser parte de la NFL. Pero no lo hizo, y ahora, todos sus esfuerzos han valido la pena.

El siguiente paso en su lista por-hacer, es volver al campo y poco a poco, ganarse su puesto en el equipo y después, la titularidad. La última vez que vimos a Gregory en el campo, fue contra Philadelphia, en el final de temporada del 2016.

En este juego, Gregory mostró muchos destellos de lo que sería capaz de hacer semana tras semana en la liga y porque valió la pena nunca dejarlo ir, lo cual no hubiera tenido sentido hacer, dado que los Cowboys no les costaba nada (literalmente) mantenerlo en el equipo.

Sean Martin escribió un artículo recientemente en el que analiza este partido a fondo.

El potencial de Gregory es inmenso, suficiente incluso, para aventurarse a decir que se convertirá en el defensive end (ala defensiva) derecho antes de lo esperado. El reto más grande para el jugador de 25 años será regresar a una condición física óptima para la NFL.

Afortunadamente, a diferencia del 2016, Gregory no estará regresando a media temporada. Su llegada toma lugar justo a tiempo para el training camp, dándole tiempo para regresar a la forma en la que tiene que estar.

Una vez ahí, ¿qué tanto le tomará ganarse un rol más importante que el de Tyrone Crawford y Taco Charlton? A pesar de que prácticamente no lo hemos visto jugar en Dallas, sabemos el potencial que tiene para convertirse en un defensivo de suma importancia para los Cowboys.

Un año después de ver la mejor temporada en la carrera de DeMarcus Lawrence, los Cowboys tendrán el potencial de una estrella similar en el lado derecho de su línea defensiva. Gregory tiene una montaña que escalar para cumplir las expectativas de los aficionados, pero no será una sorpresa si lo logra.

Vaya, no olvidemos que si no fuera por sus problemas fuera del campo, hubiera sido seleccionado en el Top 10 del Draft del 2015. Tiene el potencial de conseguir diez sacks por temporada.

Con un poco de suerte, no nos equivocaremos en tenerle fe al jugador que ha tenido un gran viaje para llegar a este punto. El punto de ponerse el casco e ir a trabajar con su equipo.

Incluso si sólo llega a ser un jugador de rotación, sin duda será importante para el éxito del equipo. Entre DeMarcus Lawrence, David Irving, Randy Gregory y el resto del talento que los Cowboys tienen en la línea defensiva, el equipo podría tener un frente de muy buena calidad.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys en Español: El Regreso de Randy Gregory" 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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