Dallas Cowboys: Taco Charlton a bust until proven otherwise

Taco Charlton Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Taco Charlton Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

After repeat healthy scratches, it’s now safe to call the Dallas Cowboys 2017 first round pick a bust, until, of course, he proves otherwise…

A healthy scratch isn’t always an indictment of failure. In baseball it can be used to spark a great player out of a slump. In basketball it could be used to change personnel for a particular matchup. But in football, a healthy scratch is not something that happens to pedigreed first round picks. Especially not late in their second season. But that’s exactly where the Dallas Cowboys are with Taco Charlton.

Taco’s season started off alright. After logging 49 snaps in Week 1, Taco contributed a career high 57 snaps in Week 2. He rewarded the Dallas Cowboys with 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss, 2 QB hits, and 1 fumble recovery. But since then he’s seen a steady decline in snaps. And after missing three weeks with a shoulder injury, Taco’s been living in the coaching staff’s doghouse rather than the opposition’s backfield.

Indications are low effort and possibly even a sense of entitlement are to blame for Taco’s back-to-back healthy scratches. But in all honesty, performance is just as much to blame since Taco has only tallied one measly sack and 10 tackles in over 300 snaps of play this season. To say his sophomore campaign is disappointing is a massive understatement.


Some may read the headline and jump right to the comment section to say something like, it’s only his second season and there’s a lot of time on the clock before we can label him a “bust”. But recent action from the Dallas Cowboys coaching staff, combined with his undeniably poor play on the field say differently.

Calling him a bust right now doesn’t mean he always will be a bust. It just means he is right now. Look, I’m a terrible dancer right now so it’s perfectly accurate to label me a bad dancer. Now, if I go out and learn how to dance I can change that label (spoiler alert: I have zero interest in learning to dance).

In the same way, Taco Charlton is a certifiable bust at the moment. The Dallas Cowboys coaching staff is treating him as such, preferring to play fourth round rookie, Dorance Armstrong Jr., instead. Considering Armstrong only has 0.5 sacks to his name, this move says more about Taco than it does the rookie.

Comments were recently made by owner Jerry Jones that Taco may soon be active for the Dallas Cowboys. Always eager to play the “good cop”, Jerry will hopefully spark some effort from the disappointing second year defensive end.

Hopefully Jerry’s public backing will have the impact Jerry intends it to. While Taco may never be a double-digit sack man, he has the ability to be a steady starter in this league if he can get his mind (and heart) right. But as of now, whether it’s the mind, body, or soul keeping him down, he’s a bust.

Jason Garrett said it when he left him off the active roster for two consecutive weeks. When a former first round pick can’t even help a team in reserve capacity, there’s no other label to give him.

The good news is he still has time to prove otherwise. He’ll likely never collect the sacks that T.J. is getting as an OLB up in Pittsburgh, but he really doesn’t have to. He can shed that bust label just by being the best he can be, which is considerably better than what he’s shown us most of this season.

Next. Sunday's loss alleviated this concern. dark

Go ahead. Get down on Taco Charlton. He’s a bust – pure and simple. And the only way for him to change this present-tense label is to step up and prove everyone wrong.

  • Published on 12/19/2018 at 18:01 PM
  • Last updated at 12/19/2018 at 13:34 PM