Time to discuss everyone's favorite offseason topic, what is Taco Charlton going to do for the Cowboys this season?
Unfortunately, the conversation around Taco Charlton has become jaded over the years. Honestly, it was jaded from the start, when the Cowboys went with Charlton over fan-favorite TJ Watt in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft and left fans scratching their heads.
Charlton has failed to live up to his first round draft selection for sure, but his Twitter/Social Media quotes have rubbed fans the wrong way as well. Still, I don't think things are over for Taco Charlton as he enters just his third season. Maybe a change of scenery will end up being needed, but 2019 will be an important year for Charlton in determining how limited his remaining days as a Cowboy truly are.
The Ringer recently named 10 players around the league who are in a “make or break” season, with Charlton landing on their list. It's certainly hard to argue with Danny Kelly's logic, as he broke down how big a year 2019 is for the former first round defensive end.
“Charlton did look poised for a breakout early last year, and flashed potential during the team's first two games, grabbing two tackles for a loss, a sack, a pass break-up, and two quarterback hits. But he faded quickly, perhaps in part due to a mysterious shoulder injury, and rumors of attitude problems cropped up late in the year when he was a healthy scratch in weeks 14 and 15.”
Charlton' flashes have been impressive, no doubt, but they've also been few and far between. No one can blame a player for getting injured, but those aforementioned healthy scratches during the 2018 season raised reasonable questions about both Charlton himself, and how the coaching staff feels about him as a player.
It's also become increasingly difficult for Charlton to see playing time, as DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory became staples at defensive end down the stretch last season and Tyrone Crawford continues to find ways on the field. Dorance Armstrong has also emerged as a cheaper, and potentially more reliable option in the rotation.
Even with Gregory facing suspension this upcoming season, Robert Quinn is expected to get most of the pass rushing reps over Charlton, which will hinder his opportunities even further.
No one is arguing that Charlton deserves those reps over Quinn, of course, but it's just another piece to a puzzle that may be leaving Charlton feeling helpless with his current state on the Cowboys.
Will 2019 be a breakout season for Taco Charlton? While I hate to say it, the odds are it probably won't. He is too talented to be considered a total lost cause, but Charlton's best days in the NFL may have to come with a different franchise.