Which player has a brighter future on the Dallas Cowboys, former first round pick Taco Charlton or former fourth round pick Dornace Armstrong?
I admit this is a bit of a loaded question. On one hand you have a colossally under achieving first first round pick and on the other you have an extremely raw fourth rounder. Given just the draft position, the Dallas Cowboys (and their fans) are understandably most disappointed in their first round selection.
Conversely, Armstrong’s early reviews are met largely with indifference. As a Day 3 draft pick, he’s already met expectations just by making the team. Anything more is just gravy. That’s why his lack of impact on the field isn’t a problem (Armstrong played 273 snaps last season (per Pro Football Focus) and only collected 13 tackles, three QB hits, 0.5 sacks and 1 tackle for loss.
So which player has the brighter future on the Dallas Cowboys?
Despite the superior traits and high draft position, we’ve reached a point where the scales have balanced and the best man will win. As discussed on last week, the defensive line has grown so deep as a unit, even if the Cowboys go deep on the D-line (10 or 11 spots), drafted players are going to get cut. That potentially includes Taco and Armstrong.
But Armstrong has the advantage in a couple key areas that could help make a difference. Headlining that list is attitude and work ethic. The Dallas Cowboys have gone out of their way to point out attitude and effort were factors in their decision to draft Trysten Hill.
In fact, all of Dallas’ additions have high marks in the character, effort, and attitude department. One could interpret this as an adjustment made in the wake of Taco’s behavioral/attitude issues.
Also working in the favor of Dorance is age. Dorance was only 20-years-old when the Cowboys drafted him last year. It’s shocking a D-lineman this young was able to make the team, let alone log significant snaps. Now Taco isn’t old (turns 25 this season), but he’s over 2-years Armstrong’s elder.
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Controllability must also be considered. As a first round pick, Taco gets an extra year of controllability. But does anyone expect the Dallas Cowboys to pick up that option? Taco will need a Pro Bowl-like season to warrant the cost of the fifth-year option in 2021. And that kind of production is a long-shot as he works behind DeMarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Randy Gregory (once the suspension is lifted), and Tyrone Crawford.
Armstrong, on the other hand, is under contract for three more seasons at under $1M per. For a developmental guy down the depth chart, that’s a much more reasonable figure compared to Taco who will be making over $2.7M in ’19 and over $3.1M in ’20 (according to Spotrac).
So Armstrong has the better attitude. He has the better work ethic. He’s showing the most improvement. Armstrong is cheaper. And under contract for longer. Given Taco’s recent surgery news, Armstrong is also healthier. So the only reaming question to ask, is Dorance Armstrong as good as or better than Taco Charlton?
That’s what we’ll soon discover in training camp. But looking at Armstrong’s progression along with his draft profile he looks like he’s more than capable of unseating Taco from his roster spot and carving out a future on the Dallas Cowboys
Does Taco Charlton or Dorance Armstrong have the brighter future with the Dallas Cowboys? My money’s on Dorance how about you?
- Published on 06/05/2019 at 11:08 AM
- Last updated at 06/05/2019 at 11:08 AM